Nashua’s Winter Holiday Stroll postponed until 2021

NASHUA – The annual Winter Holiday Stroll in Downtown Nashua is a major community event for southern New Hampshire, steeped in local tradition and typically held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a kick-off to the holiday season. The Nashua Winter Holiday Stroll features a wide variety of performers, vendors, demonstrations and attractions. It brings more than 30,000 people to Main Street in beautiful Downtown Nashua, which is closed to vehicular traffic for the evening, allowing attendees to safely stroll about with friends and family. In 2020, the event would have celebrated its 27th year.

Like many large community events this year, the Nashua Winter Holiday Stroll is cancelled due to continued community-based transmission of COVID-19, upon the advisement of local health officials.

The decision was made in partnership between the City of Nashua and Great American Downtown, its coordinating partner in producing the event.

Though organizers look forward to 2021 for the return of this well loved and uniquely Nashua event, in the weeks and months ahead, they will offer a variety of programs to keep up the great energy that the resilient Downtown has carried through the summer – and into the holidays.

“The holiday season is almost here, and you’ll soon start to feel it in Downtown Nashua, with the wonderful activities Great American Downtown has planned. Outdoor music, contests and the return of Plaid Friday are sure to be fun and will help support our local businesses,” said Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess. “These festivities are just what everyone needs to get out and enjoy our community this fall and winter.”

Great American Downtown, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission centered around vibrancy in Downtown Nashua, is pleased to announce that there will still be much to look forward to in Downtown Nashua in the months ahead. “We had a very successful Dancin’ in the Park series this summer, presented in partnership with the City of Nashua,” writes Paul Shea, Executive Director for GAD. “We will continue to draw visitors to our Downtown and the Nashua Riverfront with Saturday afternoon live music starting October 24 and running through December.”

The organization, which traditionally hosts large-scale, free and family-friendly community events in the city, has worked over the course of the summer to shift programming to smaller, more frequent events, designed with health and safety guidance from the Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services. These events are geared toward allowing for social distancing in the open air. The live music series is being made possible in part by charitable gaming revenue from Boston Billiard Club and Casino. NH Charitable gaming has served as a lifeline to GAD and many area non-profits during a challenging year, along with opportunities like the Paycheck Protection Program and the New Hampshire Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund that rolled out with support from the CARES Act.

Additional programming will include a number of virtual offerings. In the month of October, Downtown is host to more than 30 festively decorated scarecrows, which are a fun way for area businesses and organizations to express their creativity, pride and community spirit. The scarecrows are voted on and the top three received a trophy and ample bragging rights. In November, a children’s cookie recipe contest will be in the offing. December will bring a map of holiday lighting in Downtown storefronts, as well as decorated homes of interested participants in city neighborhoods. The Nashua holiday lighting program will also feature a voting component, where light peepers can vote for their favorite business and residential displays, online at www.DowntownNashua.org.

Those interested in participating in these programs should be sure to subscribe at the weekly Downtowner e-newsletter on the home page of DowntownNashua.org and stay tuned for more details. More information on these programs will also be found on the page which would normally feature information on Nashua’s Winter Holiday Stroll.

Local business owners are excited for the upcoming holiday season, and look forward to welcoming shoppers in a more intimate community setting, strolling Main Street instead of a mall. “Like many of our neighbors, we plan all year for the holidays, and this year is no different,” said Philip Scontsas, owner of Main Street mainstay Scontsas Fine Jewelry and Home Decor. “We have begun the transformation of our two store fronts to make them a winter wonderland, and hopefully an escape and diversion as you shop for the holidays. Supporting a small business takes on an even more special meaning this year! Shop Small, support local, shop safe!”