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Mary, played by Casey Cupples, and Ryan Carraher as baby Jesus, are surrounded by "shepherds" and "lambs" at the Goffstown Congregational Church's living nativity on Dec. 6. A choir sang Christmas hymns during the narrated living nativity. (Susan Clark Photo)

Goffstown holds Friday Night Under the Lights

GOFFSTOWN — The lights along Main Street glistened in the icy rain as about 75 people gathered for the annual Friday Night Under the Lights. But, have no fear if you missed some of the holiday fanfare because most of the activities were postponed until Friday, Dec. 13, because of the weather.

During part one of Friday Night Under the Lights on Dec. 6, Goffstown and Weare Girl Scouts of Troop 20603 sang Christmas songs as they helped kick off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting at the Common. Robbie Grady, executive director of Goffstown Main Street, thanked everyone for braving the weather, and held out the microphone so people could shout out a get well message to World War II veteran Henry Hunter, who is in the hospital. Vietnam War veteran Don Caron took over the honor of lighting the tree in Hunter's absence.

Members of the Goffstown Congregational Church led folks in singing Christmas hymns, as shepherds and the three wise men paid homage to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus during a narrated version of the living nativity.

About 50 children and adults kept warm at the Goffstown Library as Sandy Whipple read "The Polar Express," overseen by The Conductor, played by Doug Doster.

"Given the weather conditions, it went well," said Grady. "We had a cheerful crowd and nearly everybody stayed to watch the living nativity. It also reflected on our businesses that stayed open, and many people stopped in and made the best of it."

The decision to postpone some of the events was difficult, Grady said, but she hopes many people will come out for Friday Night Under the Lights 2.

Part two will take place Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and will feature hayrides, visits with Santa Claus and Riverfire.

Santa will greet children along Main Street before he settles down for photos at Brown Graphix, at 27 Main St. Everyone is invited to buy a personalized photo frame for $5 that they can make at home; proceeds will benefit the Goffstown Main Street program.

"I like that we have Santa here," said Jennifer Brown, owner of Brown Graphix. "I like kicking off the season and decorating. I know many of the kids, and they're a riot when they see Santa."

Throughout the event, hayrides by Todt Hill Farm will leave from Ace Hardware and loop around Depot Street, Kendall Hadley Row, Church Street and back to Main Street.

Another reason to attend the Dec. 13 event is Riverfire. The Home Designers, Builders and Remodelers of Goffstown will light barrels of wood on fire for a show of lights on the Piscataquog River.

Grady said everyone is invited to stop in the High Street Farm House for hot cocoa and to Rotary Park for hot cocoa and cookies, sponsored by the Rotary Club and Goffstown Main Street.

"It's a lovely and special way to celebrate the holidays," Grady said. "It has a good hometown feel to it. We encourage people to come out and bring their kids and cameras."

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