The 34th annual Concord Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will take place on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, by tradition in downtown Concord. The activities will begin at 3:30 p.m. on the State House plaza. Bruce Locke will return with two horse-drawn wagons on Capitol Street. A new petting zoo from Londonderry will be located on the grass on the State House grounds. Boys and girls will be able to feed and pet the various animals.
In addition, renowned singer Brian Waldron of Concord and his band will once again entertain everyone with a wide variety of holiday songs from the main stage, sponsored by AutoServ of Tilton with Dennis Gaudet in their 20th year of being a platinum sponsor of this celebration. Waldron will be assisted by WJYY 105.5 FM as the emcee. WJYY assisted by Chris Garrett is a major sponsor of the Skip Houle Memorial Fireworks Display that will be featured once the holiday tree is lit at the plaza at 6 p.m.
Back to the activities. Liberty the Concord Police K9 with Officer Lenny O’Keefe will be present to visit with the boys and girls. Liberty and O’Keefe will be available for photo opportunities.
This year’s Christmas tree is dedicated to the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. Everyone is asked to bring wool socks, mittens, gloves, winter hats, boots, coats and chap sticks to help stuff a cruiser brought by Merrimack County Sheriff’s Department from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Let’s not forget those who are less fortunate and have no place to keep warm this winter.
In addition, the New Hampshire State Police will have a container to collect new toys for the Toys for Tots campaign they are working on. The Salvation Army will have a red kettle and be ringing the bells for their Red Kettle Drive.
The Macaroni Kid-Concord will be present to do children’s games, crafts and more on the north side of the plaza.
Santa Claus will arrive courtesy of the Concord Fire Department around 5 p.m. at the plaza. Santa will be visiting with boys and girls to hear their holiday wishes. The Concord Knights of Columbus No. 110 and Concord Grange 322 will have the Nativity Scene lighted for the holiday season.
The year’s event is also dedicated to the memory of Kevin Tucker who for many years volunteered for the Concord Christmas Parade and the Concord Christmas Tree Lighting. His passing this past spring was a major loss and he will be missed for many years. This event relies solely on donations from businesses and organizations along with individuals. Concord Grange has provided the lights for the Christmas Tree on the plaza, the Eagle Square tree which is dedicated to the Armed Forces who can’t be home for the holidays, and the Heights Tree for the past 47 years, and the Nativity Scene for 49 years, with the Concord Knights of Columbus joining to co-sponsor 44 years ago.
Donations are very much needed to help defray the expenses for this year’s celebration. Please send a nonprofit tax ID donation to Concord Christmas Tree Lighting, PO Box 1482, Concord, NH 03302.
Volunteers are needed to assist Tom Cusano with the horses and wagons on Capitol Street. A dollar donation is asked to help defray the expenses. Volunteers are also needed to help with streets blocked off with North Main Street from School Street to Centre Street/Loudon Road from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will be held regardless of weather.
Dick Patten has coordinated this event for Concord Grange for 48 years as a volunteer. He appreciates the volunteers who assist him. Please call 496-2917 for information.
Platinum sponsors this year include Concord Business Center, AutoServ of Tilton, Service Credit Union, David Mailhot Enterprises, NH Motor Speedway of Loudon and the Rowley Insurance Agency. Gold sponsors include Granite Investment Advisors, Silverstone Management Group Inc., Havenwood-Heritage Heights Retirement Community, Eastern Bank and Merrimack County Savings Bank. Silver sponsors include Northeast Delta Dental, Joe King’s Shoe Store, Foxfire Management, Kiwanis Club of Concord, Rotary Club of Concord and New Hampshire Distributors.