It's big and red and shiny and will bring Santa Claus to Wilton. No, it is not his sled and no reindeer are scheduled to come to town, but Santa will be delivered to Wilton Center on a Wilton fire truck Friday, Dec. 7, to kick off the annual Holiday Stroll.

The evening will begin at 5:30 with music provided by the Wilton High School Band, and then the big man himself will make his entrance.

First Selectman Bill Brennan will flip the switch to light not only the holiday tree but the holiday lights wrapping the lampposts, which will also be festooned with large red bows and Joy banners.

Santa will then take his place in the Gazebo, where children may visit and tell him their holiday wishes. Each child will receive a candy cane.

Families are invited to stroll through Wilton Center and stop in at participating businesses, many of which are open for shopping and seasonal refreshments. The library also invites visitors. There will be a fire in its fireplace and refreshments will be served.

"This is one of the special holiday events the Chamber presents for the enjoyment of the community," said Peg Koellmer, president of the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festivities. "It is a very popular family activity, where the little ones have an opportunity to tell Santa their wishes for presents, and parents can do some early shopping right here in Wilton Center. The high school band is terrific each year to come and provide music for the listening enjoyment of all the families. A special thanks goes to the Wilton Center merchants who put on such lovely receptions at their stores to get everyone in the holiday spirit. We encourage all residents to participate in the Holiday Stroll and shop Wilton."

Information: call the Chamber office at 762-0567.