Santa’s coming to Wilton!

Santa arrives at the Center by fire truck in a past Holiday Stroll.  (Bryan Haeffele photo)

Santa arrives at the Center by fire truck in a past Holiday Stroll. (Bryan Haeffele photo)

Friday evening. Wilton Center. A very special person will be coming to town.

Riding Wilton’s new red fire truck, instead of his usual sleigh, Santa Claus will come to Wilton for the annual Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec. 5.

The festivities, presented by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 5:30 at the gazebo on Old Ridgefield Road, rain or shine.

Lampposts will be festooned with large red bows and banners proclaiming Joy. Community members assembled will be treated to a performance by the Wilton High School band and Fairfield County Carolers as they await Santa’s arrival.

He will be escorted by Wilton firefighters, who, like the jolly old elf himself, do not let weather deter them from their appointed rounds.

Santa will join First Selectman Bill Brennan as he flips the switch to light Wilton’s Christmas tree, and then he will meet with children to hear their holiday wishes. Each child will receive a treat from Santa.

That is not the end of the celebration, as families are invited to stroll through Wilton Center, stopping in at participating businesses that have opened their stores for shopping and seasonal refreshments. Among those having receptions are Wilton Hardware, featuring tastings from Vintage Fine Wines and The Painted Cookie, Halstead Property with goodies from Sweet Pierre’s, William Raveis, and Coldwell Banker.

Visitors to Wilton Center are also invited to visit the giving tree sponsored by the Wilton Woman’s Club’s Junior Leadership Program. The tree will be near Arena Hairstyling at 84 Old Ridgefield Road. It will be decorated with paper ornaments that identify monetary donations requested by either Wilton Social Services or Person-to-Person. Person-to-Person (p2phelps.org) assists families and individuals in several area towns, including Wilton, who lack basic items such as food, clothing, and gifts for children during the holidays. Wilton Social Services will use donations to buy gift cards for children in town. P-2-P will use donations to buy toys and games to offer in its annual Toy Store event for children in Wilton, Norwalk, Weston, and Westport.

The Junior Leadership Program is made up of girls in grades six to 12 whose mothers are Wilton Woman’s Club members, and who wish to help Wilton through community service. The girls design their own projects, gaining experience in problem solving, taking initiative, and mentoring younger girls. For information, visit wiltonwomansclub.org.

Throughout the evening, the Wilton Chamber will be hosting a children’s book drive for United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, which serves families in Wilton. Members of the community are encouraged to bring a children’s nonfiction book to the gazebo during the Holiday Stroll.

With temperatures expected in the 30s Friday evening, those looking to warm up may visit Wilton Library, which will be open with a fire in the fireplace and holiday refreshments. Visitors may get a little shopping done as well at the library’s Holiday Book Sale. The library’s giving tree will be on display with ornaments of gifts that may be given to the library in someone’s honor or memory.

“This holiday Chamber event is presented for the enjoyment of our community,” Chamber President Patrick Russo said. “It has become such a popular family tradition, where little ones have an opportunity to tell Santa their wishes, and parents can do some early, local shopping. The Wilton High School band joins us each year to provide holiday tunes for the listening enjoyment of strollers.”

The forecast shows Friday evening’s weather unsettled. Should it become inclement, Santa will meet children at the library, where he will stay until 7:30. All other aspects of the event will take place as planned.

Information: 203-762-0567, wiltonchamber.com.

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