Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Stroll, Dec 3rd from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Franklin, MA – ‘Twas the month before Christmas and the Franklin Downtown Partnership decided to throw a holiday party in downtown Franklin, and more than 35 businesses decided to join the fun!

The Partnership will officially kick off the holiday season with the Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 3, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa and some of his elves, music, art and holiday treats are all part of the fun planned for revelers both downtown and around Franklin this year. Visitors can follow a trail of luminaries that light the downtown and each participating business will have a map detailing what special events and treats are being offered.

The Stroll starts at Dean College at 4:30 with a holiday tree lighting ceremony in front of Dean Hall. Enjoy free hot chocolate and plenty of singing to kick off the season.

The highlights of the evening will be an appearance by Santa at Simon’s Furniture on Summer Street from 5:00 to 7:00, while Santa’s elves will be at ARTBEAT from 4:00 to 6:00. Carolers will entertain the crowds by singing favorite seasonal songs as they stroll through the streets. Radio station 103.3 WODS FM, Boston ’s holiday music specialist, will ring in the cheer by broadcasting its festive blend of holiday favorites at the patio on East Central Street .

At Café Dolce, the coffee will be hot and the music will be playing as local artists from the Franklin Art Association set up their easels for a colorful night of painting. “Stop by, grab a cappuccino and watch local artists create paintings right in front of your eyes,” says Sue Sheridan, president of the association.

Residents are also invited to shop the new Handmade Crafts Gallery at Artbeat. The gallery features original art, unique jewelry and gifts created by local artist and will be open throughout December. “Artists will be on hand from 6:00 to 8:00 to talk about their art,” says owner Jan Whitted.

Visitors can see framed calligraphic art on exhibit at five locations downtown, including Jane’s Frames, Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, Franklin Center Commons ReMax Realty, Rockland Trust and Artbeat. Jane’s Frames will host an artists’ reception that evening, showcasing artwork by calligraphic artists who are members of Masscribes, a Massachusetts-based calligraphy guild.

“The Franklin Downtown Partnership created the Holiday Stroll to give everyone in the area another reason to come downtown and connect with our community,” says Lisa Piana, the partnership’s executive director and the organizer of the Stroll.  “In order to have a vibrant downtown, our stores and business owners need residents to eat, shop and spend time in Franklin .  These types of events are fun and hopefully remind residents to come downtown.

“We have many generous sponsors who make putting on events like the Holiday Stroll possible,” adds Piana.  “These events add so much to the community and we are very fortunate to have so much interest. The Partnership would love for the Holiday Stroll to become an annual event like the Harvest Festival.”

Holiday Stroll revelers will find maps at each participating business to help them navigate all the specials at the downtown and surrounding retailers.

On East Central Street, those businesses include:

A Cut Above Hair and Nails
, which has relocated to 56 E. Central St, will have cider and refreshments from 4:00 to 8:00. They will give 20% off cuts for new customers and complimentary eye and lip waxing for new and existing customers that night.

Party Paints and Pottery
will pass out their favorite holiday cookie, complete with a recipe card, to all visitors.

Café Dolce will offer coffee, holiday treats, live music and art demonstrations.

Jane’s Frames will be throwing a party with live music and refreshments. Enter a free raffle for a framed Patriot’s panoramic print and get a coupon worth 15% off framing in January. Stroll in and enjoy free samples from Tastefully Simple’s gourmet food collection.

H & R Block will hand out holiday treats and treat visitors to a free “Forward Looks” tax checkup and free “Second Looks” of prior years’ returns. Visitors can also enter to win a free tax return.

Sarapaan will have a holiday sale featuring 20% off all handcrafted jewelry (excluding custom designs). Get holiday presents for your loved ones or treat yourself.

ReMax Realty
invites downtown residents to meet and greet each other at its open house, where cheese and crackers and beverages will help to ring in the holiday season.

On Main Street:

Berry Insurance will give away hot chocolate to help warm holiday revelers.  Strollers are also invited to enter a raffle for a free gift basket.

Fitness Together
will serve fresh fruit and healthy holiday smoothies.

Hair @ Nail It invites visitors to enjoy hot cocoa while they get a free Christmas polish change.

Emma’s Quilt Cupboard
invites visitors to stop in and discover unique, hand-made gifts for the holidays. Come see a selection of quilts, wall hangings, table runners and baby quilts at their annual sample sale, going on the first two weeks of December.

The Spotlight Shop will invite patrons to enter a raffle to win two premium tickets to an FPAC holiday show of their choice:  either Nutcracker or Humbug!

The Franklin School for Performing Arts invites visitors to stop by the studios and watch performances in the recital hall throughout the evening. There will be three different performances you won’t want to miss.

Facial Rejuvenation
will give out free Jane Iredale Lip Drink SPF 15. This SPF zinc oxide broad spectrum lip balm has a macadamia nut oil base (not petroleum), antioxidants, green tea and vitamins C and E, and the flavor is a mix of lemon and orange oils.

Pisani Shoes invites everyone to come shop for new holiday shoes and enjoy Mr. Pisani’s private art work on display.

Craig Roberts Studio will give out a free $25 gift certificate for a studio portrait. The certificate can be used for family, extended family and children’s portraits.

On West Central Street:

Hair Mania will offer a free holiday gift and 10% off all hair products.

The Fire Station will be holding a Holiday Fire Safety Expo and handing out holiday treats. Come learn safety tips on candles and Christmas trees lights.

On Cottage Street:

Franklin Pizza and Deli
suggests stopping in for dinner after the tree lighting. Buy any large pizza and get a small cheese pizza free.

On Summer Street:

Simon’s Furniture invites families to meet Santa and receive a holiday treat. Visitors can also enter a raffle for a Free 19-inch flat screen LCD HD TV!

ArtBeat Your Creativity Store Kids can help Santa’s elves make glittery holiday ornaments for free. They can also make gifts for family and friends starting at $10. From 6:00 to 8:00 the store will host a reception for the Handmade Craft Gallery.

Salon Sorella
invites everyone to come in and warm up with a cup of cocoa and start their holiday shopping with 15% off the purchase of gift cards.

Around Franklin

CVS Pharmacy will continue the holiday fun at both locations. Stop in for free product sample gifts.

Shades In Place
, located at 76 Grove Street , will throw an Open House that evening and give 15% off plus free installation to anyone who stops by.

DCU - Federal Credit Union
invites holiday shoppers to stop in for a free cup of coffee, tea or a checking account. DCU will also hand out candy at Simons Furniture during Santa’s visit.

Other participating businesses include:  Itch’s Stitches, Pretty Is Pink, Vallee’s Jewelers, Rick’s Restaurant, Rome Restaurant, Bamboo House, Central Pizza and Isabella’s Groceria. Stop by and enjoy some holiday treats!

Silver sponsors for this event are NHS Print, Middlesex Savings Bank, Rockland Trust and DG Ranieri Supply Company.  Bronze sponsors include Artbeat Your Creativity Store, CVS Pharmacy, Ficco’s Bowladrome, Rome Restaurant, Laura Lowe/Coldwell Banker, the United Regional Chamber of Commerce and Digital Federal Credit Union.

For more information on this event contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at or (774) 571-3109. The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is the revitalization of downtown Franklin . The FDP believes that a vibrant downtown is key to the economic success of the town of Franklin , and it organizes events like the Holiday Stroll to promote awareness and help the town prosper. For more information visit Community Links.

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