Holiday Fest begins Dec. 7 in East Hartford
By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Nov. 30, 2012
East Hartford will hold its 20th annual Holiday Fest beginning Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., with a tree-lighting ceremony on the town green, which organizer Patricia Sirois said is consistently among the most popular events each year. It is part of a four-day celebration that will include events throughout the town to raise money for the town's emergency fuel and food banks.
"A couple hundred people came to the tree-lighting last year," said Sirois. WTIC air traffic reporter Mike Alan will host the event, which will include a drawing for children ages 5 to 8, with one winner getting the opportunity to light the tree. The lighting will be followed by performances by choral groups from East Hartford High School and East Hartford Middle School.
Most Holiday Fest events are free and do not require registration, but residents who attend are asked to bring donations of non-perishable food items, which will be given to food banks throughout East Hartford. "It's a fun four days, but the basic reason is to raise food and money for people in need," Sirois said.
Other popular events during Holiday Fest include a snowman-building competition from 1 to 3 p.m., on Dec. 9, at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center. "A lot of kids come out to make snowmen," Sirois said. "We hope we have a little bit of snow." Also popular is Senior Bingo, which will be held at noon on Dec. 9 at the Moose Family Center on Prospect Street. Advance registration is required, with tickets available through Senior Housing. "Senior Bingo has the room full of seniors every year," Sirois said.
Sirois said the town's Beautification Commission will also be selling Holiday Fest buttons for $2 each, with all proceeds donated to the town's emergency fuel bank, which is run by Operation Fuel, a state-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting needy families in East Hartford with their heating bills. "We usually collect around $800 through the sale of the buttons," Sirois said. Several other events, including a holiday breakfast on Dec. 8, also contribute to the fuel bank, Sirois said.
For more information on Holiday Fest events, including possible cancellations, check the town's website, http://www.easthartfordct.gov.