Editorial: Downtown Northampton Association’s holiday cheer

Published: 12/8/2016 10:45:08 PM

Friday evening is a fine time to check out the cheerful holiday spirit brought to Main Street this year by the Downtown Northampton Association.

The city’s first Holiday Stroll will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., coinciding with the monthly Arts Night Out, and there will be activities for all ages along Main Street and in its shops, galleries and restaurants. Among the events are hay rides, gingerbread house-making in front of Memorial Hall, marshmallow roasting over fire pits on the rainbow crosswalk and lots of music, including a community carol sing-along at the Unitarian Society. A full schedule is available online at www.northamptonholidaystroll.com/everything-thats-happening.html.

Main Street will be closed to vehicles between Strong Avenue and New South Street from 4 to about 9 p.m. All municipal parking lots will remain open, and shuttle service will run from the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Northampton Senior Center parking lots on Conz Street, as well as the former Honda dealership on King Street.

Strollers will also enjoy the brilliant display of holiday lights on trees organized by the DNA with the help of $28,000 in donations from businesses, residents and other community partners.

A year after it was organized to replace the disbanded Business Improvement District, the DNA is a welcome and valuable addition in promoting Main Street. While some despaired that downtown promotions would suffer without the controversial BID, the new DNA is doing a fine job in helping Northampton shine.

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