2021 Holiday Festival Organizers Preparing For New And Returning Offerings
On Sunday, December 5, residents of Newtown and surrounding communities can return to Main Street for the 2021 Holiday Festival, an event that has become a much-loved tradition for families.
After taking a year off due to COVID-19, Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) is happy to bring back the Holiday Festival which will be bigger with more activities than ever before.
As one of the area’s longest running holiday events, the Holiday Festival includes activities for all ages that are spread out along Main Street in three primary locations: Edmond Town Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church, and C.H. Booth Library.
The three locations this year will be connected by an Outdoor Holiday Market & Stroll featuring local food merchants and vendors selling handmade goods. In addition, there will be a kid’s activity — Superhero Academy — at Newtown Hook & Ladder, and a historic trolley ride through the Newtown Borough.
The December 5 Festival on Main Street will be chock-full of activities with something for all generations to enjoy, but the Holiday Festival fun does not start and end on that day. There are other Holiday Festival activities and events that start earlier, including the Scavenger Hunt on December 4 and Elf Chats which will run December 2-20.
For events that require reservations, visit newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org and click on the orange 2021 Holiday Festival button in the upper right corner of the home page.
The Holiday Festival is the largest fundraiser for NYFS. Proceeds support autism programming, mental health and addiction counseling services, adolescent support groups, community services and much more for the children, teens, adults and seniors of Newtown and surrounding communities.
Following is a list of this year’s Holiday Festival activities and details.
Letters To Santa
Through December 15, a mailbox will remain located at The Toy Tree, now within The Village at Lexington Gardens, 32 Church Hill Road.
Children can write a letter to Santa and receive a personalized handwritten response back in time for Christmas. Letters, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, should be hand delivered to The Toy Tree and placed in the Letters to Santa mailbox.
There is no charge, and registration is not required for this event.
Bedtime Stories with Santa
Tuesday, November 30; Thursday, December 2; and Wednesday, December 8, all at 7 pm via Facebook.
Join Santa at the North Pole while he reads a few of his favorite stories for bedtime.
For those who miss a bedtime story or want to watch again, the video will remain on Facebook.
This event is also free of charge, and registration is not required.
Elf Chats Live From The North Pole
Returning by popular demand after a very successful first year, Elf Chats will be offered December 2-20.
Children can talk with one of Santa’s elves, live from the North Pole, during a 10-minute Zoom call. This is a totally personalized experience.
During their scheduled visit, children can ask questions, see what the elves are working on, read a story, sing songs, etc. Elf Chats include a personalized handwritten letter from Santa following the chat.
Registration is required for this activity. Cost is $15 for up to two children, $20 for three children, and $25 for four children. Having too many children during the short chat does not allow for much time for each child.
The second annual Scavenger Hunt will be Saturday, December 4, starting from the NYFS office, 15 Berkshire Road. The event begins at 10 am and is expected to last until about 2 pm.
Cost is $20 per team, with an additional $5 donation requested during the scavenger hunt. Teams up to four people will be sent around Newtown to complete tasks to receive the next clue.
Grand prize is a chance to win $500 towards a Disney destination vacation package.
Registration is required and space is limited. Last year’s inaugural scavenger hunt drew 22 teams.
This online event will run December 4-10.
Businesses and members of the community donated gift baskets, experiences, products, gift certificates, and more. Shoppers can view all items and submit bids using an online platform.
Registration is not required.
Festival Of Trees
The Festival of Trees this year will be conducted Saturday and Sunday, December 4-5, and Saturday, December 11, in the Glover Community Room at Trinity Episcopal Church, 36 Main Street.
Decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and gift baskets will be on display and ready for raffle ticket sales on December 4. The presentation will then be open during the festival on December 5, with final visits and raffle tickets received on December 11.
Tickets are $2 for one ticket, $15 for ten tickets, and $20 for 20 tickets.
The room will be opened for specialty groups during the week of December 6-10. Contact Susan Smith at NYFS for details or reservations at 203-270-4335 or email@example.com.
December 5 Holiday Festival on Main Street
Tickets will be required for many of the events happening on Sunday, December 5, including one performance of The Nutcracker Suite, Cultural Entertainment & Confections, Outdoor Holiday Market & Stroll, Children’s Activities at the library, Superhero Academy, Edible Creations Viewing & Voting, and one History Trolley Tour.
These events will generally run 11 am to 4 pm.
General admission Holiday Festival tickets are $18 for adults, and $10 senior citizens and children ages 2-12, if purchased by December 4. On December 5, tickets will increase to $22 and $14, respectively.
Note, for those who wish to only attend one performance of the ballet, separate tickets can be purchased for $8.
Tickets are available through the NYFS website. For additional assistance, contact the organization’s office at 203-270-4335.
The Nutcracker Suite Ballet will be performed in the theater of Edmond Town Hall Theater, 45 Main Street.
Students of Newtown Centre of Classic Ballet & Voice will offer two performances of the holiday classic, at noon and 2 pm.
Cultural Entertainment & Confections, a new event, will be in the Alexandria Room of Edmond Town Hall.
Celebrate world cultures through music, dance, and food. Pick up a box of confections to enjoy at home or while watching and listening to music and performance art.
Outdoor Holiday Market & Stroll, also new this year, will be along Main Street.
While strolling between Holiday Festival activities, holiday shopping can be done while visiting with vendors showcasing handmade goods; food will be available to eat from food merchants; carolers and The Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band will be performing; and photo opportunities with Santa and Disney Princesses will be available.
Historic Trolley Tours will depart from and return to Edmond Town Hall. Tickets will be handed out inside the town hall lobby, and will be first-come, first-served due to limited seating.
Tours will depart at 11:15 am, noon, 1:15, 2, 2:45 and 3:30 pm. The tour along Main Street will travel south to The Pleasance, stopping frequently to hear stories of what happened among the houses that line the historic street.
Edible Creations Competition will be offered in the Glover Community Room at Trinity Church.
More than just gingerbread, this competition invites the creation of anything families, friends, and other groups want to design with sugar cubes, gum drops, marshmallows, graham crackers, etc.
All are invited to join the fun by entering the competition and/or then voting for their favorite.
Entries are invited and registration is already open. Contact Kim Merrill at 203-426-9060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full rules and entry criteria are available on the NYFS website. There is no cost to enter, although donations are appreciated.
Voting will be done between 11 am and 3 pm December 5, with winners to be announced at 3:30.
Kid’s Activities: Crafts, Stories & Disney Princesses will be presented at C.H. Booth Library.
Children can listen to Princess Belle read a story, do some crafts with the help of Princess Rapunzel, and/or have their photo taken with both princesses.
Crafts will happen all day but there is a schedule for story time and photo ops. Call NYFS or check its website for details.
Note: Parents or guardians who will only be attending the children’s activities with a child/children will not need to purchase an adult ticket. Each child will need a ticket, however.
Superhero Academy with Spider-Man & Wonder Woman at Newtown Hook & Ladder firehouse, 12 Church Hill Road.
For this new event, children will be invited to jump, climb and crawl their way through Superhero Academy, with the guidance of Spider-Man and Wonder Woman, to become a real superhero.
After completing Superhero Academy participants will get a cape, mask, certificate, and photo with Spider-Man and Wonder Woman.
NYFS needs help to pull off this massive event.
For anyone who needs volunteer hours or is simply interested in offering their time, volunteer opportunities are available for Holiday Festival events.
Visit the NYFS website, click on 2021 Holiday Festival, and then click on Volunteers to learn about different openings. Registration can be done directly through the website or by contacting Susan Smith at 203-270-4335 or email@example.com.
Festival of Trees Donations
NYFS is looking for decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and gift baskets for the Festival of Trees.
Previous participants have been families, couples, individuals, clubs, Scout troops, youth organizations, et al.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact Susan Smith (see details above).
Newtown Youth and Family Services is a non-profit youth service bureau and mental health clinic for children, teens, adults and seniors.
For over 35 years, NYFS has been committed to providing high quality human health services to promote individual and community wellness. Specialized services include outpatient individual, couples and family counseling, substance abuse treatment services, autism and social skills programs, prevention initiatives and support groups.