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December 03. 2013 10:51PM

Amherst ready to celebrate season with tree lighting Friday

AMHERST — Three days of festivities have been planned in Amherst to celebrate the holiday season, starting Friday with the town’s annual tree-lighting celebration.

“This is a weekend when our town organizations, churches, clubs and businesses work hard to enliven our beautiful village and town,” said Ann Bergin, one of the event organizers. In addition to the tree lighting, other activities such as concerts, open houses, a spaghetti supper and visits with Santa Claus have been planned.

The holiday bazaar will begin at 6:15 p.m. on Friday when residents are invited to gather at the World War I Common across from Moulton’s Market on Main Street. Hot cocoa and chestnuts will be served by the local Boy Scouts, and popcorn will be offered by area church members.

All of the winter holidays will be celebrated, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice and the First Snow, according to Bergin.

The tree will be lit promptly at 6:30 p.m. At the ceremony, the names of local military members currently serving will be read in appreciation.

“Traditionally, at dusk, single white candle lights appear in the windows of each village home and building,” said Bergin, adding the tree-lighting ceremony has become a tradition for many Amherst families.

Following the tree-lighting, participants are urged to visit the Amherst Congregational Church for the Amherst Lions Club spaghetti supper from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Amherst Christmas Brass Quintet.

Activities will continue on Saturday with a breakfast event featuring Santa Claus from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Amherst Congregational Church. Tickets are available in advance for $7 each by contacting Jessica Steele at NHNewcomers@gmail.com.

The Lions Club Craft Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Amherst Middle School on Cross Road. A holiday cookie swap and craft fair organized by the local Girl Scouts will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Amherst Fire Station. At 3 p.m., Santa is scheduled to arrive at the fire station.

The Amherst Police Station will host an open house from 3 to 5 p.m., where free children-protective identification cards and fingerprinting will be offered.More events are planned for Sunday as well, starting with a pancake breakfast with Mrs. Claus from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Amherst Fire Station.

Throughout the day on Sunday, LaBelle Winery on Route 101 is offering its Holiday Bazaar event. Several concerts will be held throughout Amherst, including the town band and Souhegan High School A Capella Singers from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Amherst Congregational Church, and the Congregational Church Choirs will take the stage from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Souhegan Valley Chorus will present “A Family Christmas” concert at Souhegan High School. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Children under the age of 12 are free.

Bergin said that throughout the weekend, the Lions Club will be collecting new hats, mittens, scarves, socks, coats, snow pants and blankets for the less fortunate. A collection bin will be stationed at the Amherst Town Library.khoughton@newstote.com


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