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Cultural Events

NYFS Holiday Festival Returning To Main Street On Sunday



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On Sunday, December 4, readers can return to Main Street for the 37th Newtown Youth and Family Service Holiday Festival. This event has become a much-loved tradition for families — even Santa Claus is bringing his family this year. Mrs Claus will also join in the fun and help spread some holiday cheer.

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, 45 Main Street; Trinity Episcopal Church, 36 Main Street; and C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street.

The three locations will be connected by an Outdoor Holiday Market featuring local food merchants and vendors selling handmade goods. In addition there will be a historic trolley ride through the Newtown Borough.

The Holiday Festival is the largest annual fundraiser for NYFS. Proceeds support autism programming, mental health and additional counseling services, adolescent support groups, community services, and much more for the children, teens, adults, and seniors of Newtown and surrounding communities.

General admission Holiday Festival tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and ages 2-12 if purchased by November 30. Prices increase December 1 to $22 for adults, $18 for children. Tickets for senior citizens will remain at $15. Children under 2 are free.

A general admission ticket includes one performance of The Nutcracker Suite, admission to the Outdoor Holiday Market, Festival of Trees viewing, children’s activities at the library including arts & crafts and Princess Storytime, Superhero Academy, Gingerbread House viewing and voting, Cookies with Mrs Claus, and one Historic Trolley Tour. All activities begin at 11 am.

For those who wish to only attend one performance of the ballet, separate tickets can be purchased for $12.

Tickets and additional information are available through newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org. For additional assistance, call the organization’s office at 203-270-4335.

December 4 Activities & Details

*The Nutcracker Suite will be performed in the theater of Edmond Town Hall. Students of Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice will offer performances of the holiday classic at noon and 2 pm.

*Outdoor Holiday Market & Stroll is returning along Main Street after a very successful first year.

While strolling between festival activities, holiday shopping can be done while visiting with vendors showcasing handmade goods and more. Food will be available to eat from food merchants. Carolers and musicians will be performing along the way and photo opportunities with Santa Claus will be available.

*Historic Trolley Tours will depart from and return to Edmond Town Hall. Reservations will be available inside the town hall lobby and will be first-come, first-served as seating is limited.

Due to popular demand, additional times have been added this year with eight chances to catch a tour. Tours will depart at 11:10 and 11:45 am, and 12:20, 12:55, 1:30, 2:05, 2:40, and 3:15 pm. The tour will travel south along Main Street to The Pleasance, stopping frequently so that the narrator can share stories of what happened among the houses and buildings that line the historic street.

*Gingerbread House Competition will be offered at Trinity Episcopal Church.

All are invited to join the fun by entering the competition and/or voting for their favorite. There is no cost for entry. Entry criteria and drop-off times are available on the NYFS website.

Voting will be done during the festival on December 4, and first through third place winners will be announced at 4:15 pm.

*Kid’s Crafts and Storytime & Photos with Princesses will be presented at C.H. Booth Library. Children can listen to Princess Belle read a story, do some crafts with Princess Cinderella, and/or have their photo taken with both princesses.

Crafts will happen all day, but there is a schedule for storytime and photo ops available on the NYFS website.

*Superhero Academy will be at Edmond Town Hall Gymnasium.

Also returning after a very successful first year, children will be invited back to jump, climb, and crawl their way through an obstacle course with the guidance of Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and become a real superhero.

After completing the Superhero Academy, participants will receive a cape, mask, and certificate.

*Cookies with Mrs Claus is a new activity happening in the Johnson Room of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Children will be welcomed by Mrs Claus to help her decorate her famous cookies and write a letter to Santa that Mrs Claus will hand deliver. Photo opportunities will be available while meeting her. Children will be able to take home their decorated cookie.

Cookie decorating and letter writing will happen all day, but there is a schedule for Mrs Claus available on the NYFS website.

*Silent Auction will be on display for viewing in the Glover Community Room at Trinity Episcopal Church on December 4. This online activity will run November 28-December 10.

Businesses and members of the community will donate gift baskets, experiences, products, gift certificates, and more. Shoppers can view all items and submit their bids using an online platform accessed through the NYFS website.

*Festival of Trees will be conducted Friday through Sunday, December 2-4, in the Glover Community Room at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and gift baskets will be on display and ready for raffle ticket sales beginning December 2, from 5-8 pm. Ticket sales will continue Saturday, December 3, 10 am-4 pm; and Sunday, December 4, 11 am-4 pm.

Tickets are $2 for one ticket, $15 for ten tickets, and $20 for 20 tickets. Winners will be announced on December 4 at 4:15 pm.

*Concession Stand will be available inside the lobby at Edmond Town Hall. All will be invited to enjoy some pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, water, soda, hot chocolate, and other light refreshments.

Beyond Main Street, Before And After December 4

While the December 4 festival on Main Street will be chock full of activities with something for all generations to enjoy, the Holiday Festival fun does not start or end on that day. Santa and his family are connecting with the Newtown community throughout the holiday season.

Children can receive a personalized letter from Santa Claus or a personalized chat with his elves. They can even hear Santa read some of his favorite holiday books for bedtime.

*Letters to Santa: Through December 15, a North Pole mailbox will be located at The Toy Tree, within The Village at Lexington Gardens, 32 Church Hill Road.

Children can write a letter to Santa Claus 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.

This activity is free of charge and registration is not required.

*Bedtime Stories with Santa: Wednesday November 30; Saturday December 3; and Thursday December 8, live on Facebook at 7 pm.

Join Santa at the North Pole while he reads a few of his favorite bedtime stories.

For those who miss a bedtime story or want to watch again, the video will remain on Facebook.

This activity is free of charge and registration is not required.

*Elf Chats Live from the North Pole will be offered December 6-16.

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 more than four children during the short chat does not allow for much time for each child.

*The Third Annual Family Scavenger Hunt will be on Saturday, December 3, starting from the NYFS office at 15 Berkshire Road. The event begins at 10 am and is expected to last until noon.

Registration is required and space is limited. Cost is $25 per team. Teams of 2-6 people will be sent around Newtown to complete tasks to receive the next clue.

Grand prize is a Visa gift card for $300.

All teams that complete the scavenger hunt within two hours will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a Visa gift card for $100.

Newtown Youth and Family Services is a nonprofit 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, couple and family counseling, substance abuse treatment services, autism and social skills programs, prevention initiatives and support groups.

Austrian Boys Band performed on the stage of the Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hall during the 2021 Newtown Holiday Festival. Events will return to that historic building, and two equally important Main Street locations, for this year’s festival on December 4. —Bee file photos
The Holiday Festival’s red trolley departs from in front of Edmond Town Hall and makes its way south on Main Street toward the flagpole.
The Festival of Trees — decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and gift baskets — will again be offered through raffle as part of the 37th NYFS Newtown Holiday Festival.
Marie Scime and Ginny Robertson volunteered at Edmond Town Hall during last year’s Newtown Holiday Festival events. Openings are available for anyone who would like to help this year.
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