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NYFS Holiday Festival To Be Merry & Bright On December 3; Multiple Events Also Planned December 2-15



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On Sunday, December 3, residents of Newtown and surrounding communities can return to Main Street for the Newtown Youth & Family Services 38th Annual Holiday Festival, a much-loved tradition for families with more activities than ever before.

Newtown Youth and Family Services (NYFS) is grateful for the continued support of Newtown Savings Bank as the Premier Sponsor of this year’s Holiday Festival. Multiple businesses and individuals are also stepping up to sponsor events and activities under the Holiday Festival banner.

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. These locations will be connected by an Outdoor Holiday Market featuring local food merchants and vendors selling handmade goods.

Also along Main Street are four homes that will be featured on the Historic House Tours.

The December 3 Festival on Main Street will be enjoyable for everyone, but the Holiday Festival fun does not start and end on that day only. The Online Silent Auction runs November 27-December 9, and Newtown’s Family Scavenger Hunt will take place December 2.

December 3 Holiday Festival

The Holiday Festival will take place Sunday, December 3, from 11 am to 4 pm. General admission Holiday Festival tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, and $15 for children ages 2-12 if purchased by November 27. Tickets will then increase to $23 for adults and $18 for children. Senior tickets will remain at $18.

A general admission ticket includes one performance of The Nutcracker Suite, shopping at the outdoor market, Festival of Trees viewing, photo opportunities with festive characters, children’s activities including arts & crafts, gingerbread house viewing and voting, a family magic show, silent auction bidding, cookie decorating with Mrs Claus, and one ride on the Historic Trolley Tour.

New this year is Historic House Tours & Holiday Tea Package. Visitors can view the first floor of four beautifully decorated houses along Main Street and learn about the history of each home. Tea and treats will be available at C.H. Booth Library for those who purchase a ticket for this activity.

Tickets are $20 for House Tours & Holiday Tea alone, or can be added to the general Holiday Festival ticket for an additional $10.

For those who wish to only attend one performance of the ballet, separate tickets can be purchased for $12 in advance, or $15 after November 27.

Tickets are available through NewtownYouthAndFamilyServices.org. Additional information is also available at 203-270-4335.

Festival Details

Festival of Trees, December 2-3, Trinity Episcopal Church (Glover Community Room).

The public will be invited to win those decorated items, to enjoy all season, when ticket sales open Saturday, December 2, 10 am-1 pm, and on Sunday during Holiday Festival hours. Tickets are $3 for one, $10 for five, $15 for 10 tickets, and $25 for 25 tickets.

Winning tickets will be drawn at 4:15 pm December 3.

The Nutcracker Suite, Edmond Town Hall Theatre.

Newtown Centre of Classic Ballet & Voice will offer performances of The Nutcracker Suite at noon and 2 pm. Performances are at noon and 2 pm, at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street.

Tickets can be purchased as part of the larger Holiday Festival package or separately for $12 online or $15 at the door.

(Read more here: NCCB To Present Two Performances Of 'Nutcracker' On Edmond Town Hall Stage)

Historic Trolley Tours, departing from outside Edmond Town Hall.

Embark on an intimate tour of Main Street starting at Edmond Town Hall and proceeding down to The Pleasance at 1 Main Street, stopping frequently to hear stories of what happened among the houses that line the historic street.

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. One ride is included in the general Holiday Festival ticket but there is limited availability, first come, first served.

Photos with Festival Friends, Cookies with Mrs Claus and Family Magic Shows, Edmond Town Hall gymnasium.

Meet the Grinch, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Mrs Claus and others, and strike your best pose in front of beautiful holiday scenery for photos.

Concessions will also be available, including pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, hot chocolate and more, at two locations within Edmond Town Hall. All proceeds will benefit NYFS, to continue serving the mental health needs of the Newtown community.

Meet Mrs Claus and decorate holiday sugar cookies. NYFS will provide the cookies, frosting, sprinkles and other toppings.

Get ready for fun and laughter as Magician Matt Matthews performs his best magic tricks during shows at 11:15 am and 12:30 pm.

Kids Crafts, C.H. Booth Library main floor.

From reindeer and gingerbread friends to snowmen and holiday bells, there are craft projects for everyone.

Additional Festival-Related Activities

Letters to Santa, through December 14: mailbox located at The Toy Tree, 32 Church Hill Road.

Children can write a letter to Santa and receive a personalized handwritten response from the North Pole. Letters, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope should be dropped off at The Toy Tree and placed in the Letters to Santa mailbox.

Online Silent Auction, November 27-December 9, online.

Businesses and members of the community donated gift baskets, experiences, products, gift certificates and more. View all items and submit bids using an online platform from the NYFS website.

Bidding opens at 8 am Monday, November 27, and closes at 8 pm Saturday, December 9.

The silent auction items will also be displayed at Trinity Church during the Holiday Festival events on December 3.

Family Scavenger Hunt, Saturday, December 2: Starts at Newtown Youth & Family Services, 15 Berkshire Road.

Bring the family together and embark on a scavenger hunt around town for a chance to win a great prize. Families will be asked to turn on their thinking caps for this Merry & Bright adventure as they reveal clues and complete tasks at various locations throughout Newtown.

The event begins at 2 pm and is expected to last until 4. Cost is $25 per team (up to six people per team). Registration is required, and this is not included in the Holiday Festival general ticket.

Elf Chats, December 8-15: Online.

Children can talk with EverGreen the Elf, live from the North Pole, during a 10-minute Zoom call. During their scheduled visit, children will receive a personalized experience and can ask questions, see what EverGreen is working on, read a story, sing songs, etc.

Elf Chats will be conducted 5-8 pm Friday, December 8; Monday, December 11; Wednesday, December 13; and Friday, December 15.

Cost is $15 for up to two children, $20 for three children, and $25 for four children, and registration is required. This is not included in the Holiday Festival general ticket.

Gingerbread House Competition, December 2-9, online.

Every year, members of the community design their own gingerbread houses to showcase at the Holiday Festival.

Voting will begin Saturday, December 2, at 10 am, and end on Saturday, December 9, at 8 pm, using an online platform from the NYFS website. All entry criteria and drop-off times are available on the NYFS website.

The Gingerbread Houses will also be displayed at Trinity Church during the Holiday Festival events on December 3.

Prizes will be awarded to first place winners in the adult and children’s categories.

The Holiday Festival is the largest annual 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.

The Holiday Festival is the largest annual fundraiser for NYFS.
Employees of Guardians Farm were among those to participate in the NYFS Holiday Festival Outdoor Market last year. The largest annual fundraiser for the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit youth service bureau and mental health clinic will return with a day of festival events as well as related events from late November through mid-December. —Newtown Youth & Family Services photos
Decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and gift baskets filled Trinity Church’s Glover Community Room during last year’s NYFS Holiday Festival.
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