‘Shop Suffield’ kicks off the season

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Wed., Dec. 4, 2013
Samantha, Pauly and their parents greet Santa at the ‘Shop Suffield’ event. Photos by Jennifer Coe.
Samantha, Pauly and their parents greet Santa at the ‘Shop Suffield’ event. Photos by Jennifer Coe.

Suffield residents looking to get into the Christmas spirit early had their first opportunity two days after Thanksgiving, when the Suffield Chamber of Commerce sponsored a “Shop Suffield” event at the Suffield Village on Nov. 30.  Initially just a tree-lighting ceremony, the event morphed into more of a sing-along and opportunity for small vendors to show off their goods.

Happy children were pleased to kick off their most favorite season by singing songs with the Around Town Singers, and, of course, a visit from the man in red himself, Santa Claus.

The event occurred on the same day Suffield was participating in Small Business Saturday, a day when many communities highlight their local businesses and remind people to shop “small.”

“The Suffield Chamber of Commerce wanted to continue our help to local businesses again this year by supporting and advertising Small Biz Saturday, which we call ‘Shop Suffield,’” said Chamber of Commerce President Lorraine Erickson. Last year’s successful event led the Chamber to “take it a step further” this year and offer some free space at the event for Chamber members to put up a mini-storefront. Although Erickson would like to have seen more vendors come out, she is extremely optimistic about what this event could develop into.

“We decided to turn it into an old-fashioned holiday family day,” said Erickson.

The Suffield Players offered their services as face-painters, and the Around Town Singers led the crowd in holiday favorites like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The event was also an opportunity to remind local residents that there are some families in need this year. “To keep it in the spirit, one of our volunteers made up the tags for the [donation] tree to give to families who wanted to do a little more,” said Erickson.

Erickson was extremely pleased and a little surprised by the turnout and said that next year will be even bigger and better. “I believe it will be the beginning of a new tradition here in Suffield,” she said. “Our hopes are to use this as a first step to create a wonderful event for families to stay in town and enjoy with neighbors.”

Donations of toys, hats and mittens for families in need can be dropped off at the First National Bank of Suffield until Dec. 20, and will be distributed by the Suffield Emergency Aid Association.

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