Letter: New Canaan’s Holiday Stroll—What Is It All About?


The weekend after Thanksgiving is dedicated to putting the spotlight on New Canaan’s downtown. The Holiday Stroll was started by a group of local merchants 18 years ago and has evolved to be one of New Canaan’s most beloved traditions.  The Chamber invites you to head downtown 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 to walk under the lights, browse in the stores, watch a show performed by young local talent, eat delicious food, and take a selfie with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Stroll functions as New Canaan’s answer to “Small Business Saturday”, reminding all of us to “think local first” when shopping for friends and family this Holiday season!

For young families we encourage you to come back to town 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to catch up with Santa who will be at Houlihan Lawrence at 161 Elm St. While the Children wait to share their wish list with Santa, they will be entertained by a magician making balloon animals as well as members of New Canaan High School’s Red Cross and Feeding 500 Clubs. Santa will also be taking donations to help make Christmas shine a little brighter for local families in need.

As New Canaan has been blessed with many new residents, we wanted to share our appreciation ahead of time, so everyone can understand how important this event is to our business district and how many people are involved in pulling it off.

The Chamber has worked for many months to produce the Stroll but could not possibly put on an event like this on without the support of the municipality and the time commitment and financial contributions of many.

  • As you walk through town over the next month, please look at the lights in the trees which are 100% funded by residents and businesses who every year collectively contribute close to $26,000 to have the lights carefully and artfully strung by Hutchinson Tree Service on Elm, Main, Locust, South, and Forest Streets. If you would like to contribute head to newcanaanchamber.com to donate!
  • Have you noticed the Lamp Posts? Each one was decorated garland hung by a dedicated team of S.L.O.B.S (New Canaan High School’s Service League of Boys) Check out the Garland Tags on each lamp post you will see the name of a business or a family who have “sponsored” that pole which helps the Chamber raise the necessary funds to put on the Holiday Stroll. Local Scout Troop 45, STAR Lighting The Way and Volunteers from the National Charity league also had a hand in getting the Garland and Tags on the Lamp Posts.
  • The Gingerbread Houses you see in the window were sourced and delivered by the Walter Stewarts team, purchased, and handed out by the New Canaan office of Brown Harris Stevens. 150 families spent their Thanksgiving weekend decorating the houses which are placed in stores who volunteer precious window space for the young architects’ creations.
  • Santa will be in New Canaan both Friday Night and Saturday thanks to a generous contribution from the New Canaan Office of Houlihan Lawrence. On Friday night Mrs. Claus will be here thanks to our friends at Camp Playland.
  • On Friday night you will see teams of National Charity League and Chamber of Commerce volunteers selling “light up” garb and trinkets. In front of the Moreno Clock on Elm Street. When you buy one of these festive items you too will be helping fund the Holiday Stroll.
  • The Show, which will take place at the Elm/South Avenue intersection will be emceed by the Town Players of New Canaan and feature performances from New Canaan Music, New England Academy of Dance, The Studio for Performing Arts, The Performing Arts Conservatory, The New Canaan Dance Academy and Pender Keady Irish Dance Academy.
  • New Canaan’s Police, Fire Health, and Departments of Public Works along with and the First Selectman’s Office all have a hand in making this event both fun and safe for everyone.

As you can see it truly takes a village to pull off this event. New Canaan should be proud, the Holiday Stroll is truly “our” Event! 

We hope that the Stroll will inspire you to take the time to look around and make a point to shop in our local stores this Holiday season and beyond. Our local merchants plan all year and carefully curate their merchandise to feature the best gifts for everyone on your list. These owners, managers and employees are our friends and neighbors who work extremely hard all year long to run their business.  Keeping your shopping and dining dollars in town benefits the businesses and the community at large. A vibrant downtown is one of New Canaan’s best assets.

 If you are not sure what to give, head to newcanaanchamber.com and purchase a New Canaan Gift Certificate which is accepted at over 45 local establishments.

The Chamber looks forward to seeing you downtown this weekend, please reach out if you have any questions.

Laura Budd 

Executive Director, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *