NORWICH — Downtown Norwich is getting in the holiday spirit. City Church Norwich, volunteers from NBT Bank, Hayworth Renaissance Company, and more have helped to transform the downtown area into a winter wonderland.
"A group from NBT and a group from City Church, we had them downtown last week lighting up the little trees around the park, doing that, they volunteered to help decorate. So that is amazing," said Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) Board Member Mindy Chawgo. "Adam [Bosworth] and Mike [Hayes] are gonna do the big tree ... Burrell's Excavating set up the Santa's Igloo, that's Dave Burrell with the help of Brightman's, they do that. And then Tyler Oliver decorates the whole inside for Santa to come."
The transformation of downtown Norwich comes just in time for the multitude of events happening this holiday season. On Saturday, November 27, the annual Parade of Lights made its way down Broad Street. Hundreds of spectators lined the road to watch more than 50 participants march from NBT Bank to the Red Roof Inn.
Following the parade, Santa Claus set up shop in his igloo for children to visit and take photos. Chobani also held their seventh annual free yogurt case giveaway in East Park following the parade.
"I think despite the cold weather the parade was great. You know, it was nice to have it back in town, we missed it from last year," said BID Executive Director Tracey Chawgo. "The Chobani handout went very well ... they handed out 5,000 cases of yogurt."
"Santa saw kids for probably two and a half hours after the parade," he added.
On Thursday, December 2, the festivities will keep going. Perry Browne School Student Choir members will be putting on a show at 6:30 p.m. on the Courthouse steps in West Park. After the concert, a few lucky students will be chosen to flip the switch and light up the trees, according to Chawgo. Refreshments will also be offered during the ceremony.
"The Business Improvement District will be offering free hot chocolate, and Oliver's Campers will have a fire pit there so kids can make s'mores," said Chawgo.
After the ceremony, Santa will return to his igloo once again to meet with children from 5 to 8 p.m. A full schedule of Santa's Igloo hours is as follows:
Thursday, December 2: 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday, December 3: 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 4: 1 to 4 p.m.
Thursday, December 9: 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday, December 10: 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 11: 1 to 4 p.m.
Thursday, December 16: 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday, December 17: 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 18: 1 to 4 p.m.
Thursday, December 23: 5 to 8 p.m.