Wilton Holiday Stroll: Holiday cheer and shopping local

Community members are invited to celebrate the magic of the holidays with Santa Claus and shopping during the Wilton Chamber of Commerce’s annual Holiday Stroll in Wilton Center the evening of Friday, Dec. 2.

Santa, played by the Chamber’s immediate past, President Mark Ketley, will arrive on a fire truck at the Town Green gazebo with First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice around 5:30.

After the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree, children and families will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa.

The Holiday Stroll is not only about holiday cheer but also about shopping local, said Chamber Executive Director Debra Hansen.

Open House Gift Shop, Wilton Hardware, Homestead Properties, Signature Style, and B-Chic are just some of the Wilton merchants hosting open houses that evening, she said.

“Coldwell Banker usually has something nice,” she said, “and the Chamber office will be open and people can come have some wine and cheese.”

Wilton Library will also be participating, offering refreshments and the opportunity for people to warm up by the fireplace. Visitors may also take an “ornament” from the giving tree to help the library with its wish list for the holiday season.

There will also be a bonfire marshmallow roast at Schenck’s Island that evening.

Although some businesses may stay open later, Hansen said, the Holiday Stroll usually goes until about 7:30.

“It’s a really nice opportunity for the town to get together,” she said.

“Everybody’s outside, wandering around, and there’s a lot of positive interaction and families — and hopefully stores and restaurants will get a little more business.”

If the weather is bad, Santa will move from the gazebo into Wilton Library.

The same evening as the Holiday Stroll, the Wilton Economic Development Commission will sponsor a bonfire and marshmallow roast at Schenck’s Island.

The bonfire and roast is “a supplement to the Holiday Stroll, the children's Ice Palace Project and new snowflake banners,” said Vanderslice, “[which] are all part of a joint initiative between the EDC and the town to encourage residents to ‘Enjoy Winter in Downtown Wilton.’”

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