The businesses of downtown Danvers will be filled with the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer starting Friday in preparation for the annual holiday festival around downtown on Saturday afternoon.
For those who have time, check out the window decorations at nine local businesses who participated in a contest for the festival. The windows will be judged at 11 a.m. The Parade of Trees over at Tapley Memorial Hall is also on display from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (same time tomorrow). The gift-laden trees will be raffled off to benefit the Danvers Rail Trail.
The annual festival itself, sponsored by the Downtown Improvement Committee, serves to get locals familiar with many of the local stores in town and what the downtown has to offer.
Assistant Planning Director Susan Fletcher, a member of the committee, says of the window decorations: "We've been doing this for 10 or 11 years and it's a way to say thank you to the customers." The festival has gone on for a few years longer.
And Saturday, from 2-5 p.m. is the main event in Danvers Square.
Local businesses will be open, offering different activities for anyone who wants to wander around during the day. The day ends at 5 p.m. with the lighting of the giant 30-foot tree in front of the CVS in the square.
"For the merchants this event serves two purposes," Fletcher said. "It helps to get people downtown and get them walking and to see what Danvers has to offer."
Ira Malkin and Selectman Gardner Trask will be the DJs for the afternoon, playing holiday carols, Santa comes by for a visit from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Maple Street Congregational Church for pictures with children, girl scouts will be selling cookies by the church from 4-4:30 p.m., then Santa takes off for a ride on a fire engine over to the square where the tree will be lit.
The handcrafted decorations hanging from the tree were made by the Danvers Garden Club and each decoration is hung by the Department of Public Works. Lights were strung by Danvers Electric.
"I think this is a fun event and good for the businesses and people who attend it," said Fletcher.
If you go:
- 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Parade of Trees at Tapley Hall
- 2:30-4:30 p.m., Pictures with Santa at Maple Street Church
- 2-5 p.m., Activities at local shops and window contest
- 4-4:30 p.m., Girl Scouts sing at Maple Street Church
- 4:55 p.m., Santa arrives at the tree
- 5 p.m., Tree lighting
Businesses in the window decorating contest
Curran Bros. Florists & Greenhouses, Danvers Fresh Marketplace, Goodies Ice Cream, Giovanni's Roast Beef & Pizza, Human Nature, New Wave Salon, The Partridge Tree Gift Shop, Salem Five Bank and Sapphires.
Businesses giving away free stuff
- Danvers Garden Club - handmade and lamppost wreaths seen on Maple and High streets, providing judges for window decorating contest
- VFW Post 2359 - public restrooms and goodies from St. Mary of the Annunciation School
- Antiques Displayed - old fashioned shortbread
- Danvers Fresh Marketplace - apples
- Full Circle Day Spa - 20 percent off gift certificates, free raffle to win facial massage
- GymCore - candy canes, bottled water, raffle for free month
- Hall Family Chiropractic - Christmas ornaments, hot cider and snacks
- North Shore Bank - hot chocolate and bank giveaways for kids
- The Partridge Tree Gift Shop - Webkinz magnetic bookmarks or Webkinz Christmas ornament
- Salon 21 - handing out calendars
- New Danvers House of Pizza - one slice of cheese pizza
- New Wave Salon - hair extensions and hairspray, coffee, apple cider, Christmas cookies, shampoo and conditioner samples
- Salem Five Bank - raffle, cookies, giveaway bags
- Cherry Street Fish Market - clam chowder
- Cakes for Occasions - gingerbread decorating
- Chuck's Restaurant - mini appetizers
- Cranney Self-Storage - raffle for $25 Toys 'R Us gift certificate
- Custom Cup Caffe - cookies
- Danvers Family Festival - hot chocolate
- Domino's Pizza - cinnamon sticks
- Giovanni's Roast Beef & Pizza - slice of pizza and goody bags
- Goodies Ice Cream - hot dogs
- John Herzog, DDS, Inc. - toothbrushes and lip balm
- JD Jewelers - goodies
- Maple Street Church - cocoa, cookies, Santa, pictures and craft activity
- Novello's Florist - 15 percent cash and carry, boxwood tree raffle
- Paris Nails and Tanning - free tanning for adults, buy one month get one month free
- Supreme Roast Beef - free small drink
- Verizon FiOS - goodies, trinkets and eco-friendly shopping bags
- Western Cycle - popcorn
- Zollo's Barbershop - bubble gum and lollipops
- Danvers Historical Society - coloring contest, goody bags
- Human Nature - Making reindeer food with kids, cookies, hot chocolate, five minute massages, aromatherapy samples and discounted gift certificates