Locals are gearing up for a hugely popular event that sees downtown New Canaan transformed into a walkable winter wonderland featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music and dance, S’mores, ice sculpture, waffles, gingerbread houses and a spotlight on local businesses.
The 14th annual Holiday Stroll is to be held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Presented by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the free Stroll “brings everybody downtown together,” said the organization’s Laura Budd.
“It has been cold, people are not gathering outside as much as they have in the past, and this allows them to come into town and kick off the holiday season,” Budd said.
“There’s all local talent performing and the stores really go all out and put their best foot forward. Last Saturday was ‘Small Business Saturday,’ which we certainly acknowledge. But this is our own Small Business Saturday. Its celebrates New Canaan—come support your local downtown merchants, see what they have to offer and think local first. New Canaan has been doing this for 14 years, we gather together with all of this entertainment to showcase how special and unique our downtown is.”
The one-way stretch of Elm will be closed to vehicular traffic for attendees and a stage will be set up at the South Avenue intersection. There, attendees can take in performances from Dan Fiore and Anthony Buzzeo of New Canaan Music, New England Academy of Dance (“Nutcracker”), students of the Studio, Performing Arts Conservatory, Norwalk Symphony and a showcase by New Canaan Dance Academy.
Families and children can witness the arrival fo the Clauses and mix with Christmas characters including Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Merchants on Elm as well as Main and Forest Streets will offer visitors seasonal beverages, and shop windows will be adorned with gingerbread houses from local kids who received kits from Halstead Real Estate, an annual sponsor.