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Around Florence: Village prepares for big Christmas doings

  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO<br/>Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Florence Civic Center after the holiday parade in 2011.
  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO<br/>The <br/>Florence luminary display in 2011.

What good is decorating a tree if it’s going to be stuck inside until next year?

The Florence Civic and Business Association is organizing a “Christmas Tree Promenade” this year that will allow people to show off their decorating prowess to the entire village.

Association board member Robert Ross said the idea came to him while he was on vacation in Colorado and visited a town where Christmas trees were put out for public display.

A $50 donation will reserve a tree, Ross said, and purchasers are responsible for decorating it. Decorations should be tasteful and able to withstand the weather between now and the beginning of next year.

Ross said trees will be staked out on the lawn of the Florence Civic Center on Park Street by Nov. 30 and will remain there on display until early 2014.

This is the first year Florence has held such an event, Ross said, and the association is encouraging people to sponsor trees for their families, in memory of loved ones or “just because.”

Proceeds will offset the cost of the trees and the remainder will support the association, Ross said.

Ross said the association was able to get 28 trees for the promenade and another dozen that will be displayed on poles in downtown Florence.

Ross said buying trees in bulk was more difficult than he thought at first, not realizing that many tree farms weren’t willing to let more than 40 trees go to a single purchaser so early in the season, hoping to save their stock for other customers.

For more information or to reserve a tree, contact Ross at 413-320-2306 or robert@rossbros.com.


Holiday parade in the works

Nov. 30 is the target date to have all promenade trees up and ready for display to coincide with the annual Holiday Parade, scheduled the same day.

The parade is scheduled to step off from Trinity Row on South Main Street about 10 a.m. and will finish up at the Civic Center on Park Street.

Presuming there is no weather interference and flight paths remain clear, toy maker and high-speed delivery maven Kris Kringle, also known as Santa Claus, is expected to make an appearance, bringing up the rear of the procession, officially kicking off the holiday season. Visits will commence at the Civic Center following the parade.


Luminary set for Dec. 21

If trees and parades aren’t enough to stir some holiday spirit, the 12th annual Florence Luminary celebration may be just the thing.

The annual event will be held on Dec. 21, the final Saturday before Christmas and the first full day of winter.

Luminary bags will be available at shops throughout downtown and will be set up and lit all along Park Street beginning at the Civic Center.

Past celebrations have included bonfires, hayrides and music.

The event is scheduled from 6 p.m. to midnight and is free and open to the public.

Items for Around Florence can be emailed to bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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