Amherst ready to kick off festive season

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - What do you get when you combine 20,000 lights, 41 snowflakes, four lighted skaters, four carolers, two lamp lighters and a horse and carriage?
You get a festive scene as Amherst kicks off the Christmas season on Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, with the fifth annual Victorian Christmas celebration.
"The Victorian theme is something we started five years ago. It has been very successful at drawing interest in Christmas and it's something that the merchants have bought into," organizing committee member Robert Angels said.
A Victorian tea and luncheon will kick off festivities at First Baptist Church at 11:30 a.m. on Friday with the light-up ceremony set for 7 p.m. in Victoria Square. Mayor Jerry Hallee and town crier Jerry Randall will throw the switch to light up Christmas decorations in the downtown and along Church and Albion streets.
There will also be caroling at First Baptist following the light-up featuring school and church choirs, the Faith United Pentecostal Choir and band students from Amherst Regional High School.
The annual Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. departing from the Amherst Town Square mall on South Albion Street and proceeding through the business area before coming to a conclusion at the Fort Cumberland Manor on Victoria Street East.
As well, Angel said, merchants are being encouraged to decorate their stores using a Victorian theme while staff are being encouraged to dress in Victorian-era clothing if possible to help promote the festive atmosphere.
"The response from the business community has been great," Angel said. "They are very enthusiastic about it.
For example, he said, Dayle's Department Store is holding a Christmas light-up of its own while Bella's Tea Room is holding a Victorian tea every Wednesday until Christmas.
dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: First Baptist Church, Faith United Pentecostal Choir, Amherst Regional High School

Geographic location: Amherst, Victoria Square, South Albion Street Victoria Street East

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