A week after Saugus’s tree lighting, MEG Foundation begins 8th Annual Christmas Tree Festival tonight
By Mark E. Vogler
The Saugus holiday season officially began a week ago (Friday, Nov. 30) on the lawn surrounding Town Hall with the town’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities.
That popular classic event drew thousands, including some visitors from neighboring towns who wanted to enjoy the night with children, other family members or friends.
Santa Claus was the main event. But there were also horse-drawn sleigh rides, a petting zoo that drew kids and grownups, hot chocolate and cookies, Christmas caroling, members of the Saugus High School band performing and a bunch of other fun stuff.
Tonight (Friday, Dec. 7) the town’s holiday season continues with a big crowd pleaser being the MEG Foundation’s 8th Annual Christmas Tree Festival at the former Cliftondale School, known as the MEG Building, at 54-58 Essex St., Saugus. More than 50 decorated Christmas trees and gift baskets chock-full of goodies will be on display. Admission is free and tickets will be sold to take chances on a list of the beautiful trees and other gifts. Money raised will go toward supporting foundation programs and preservation of the century-old schoolhouse.
A live Nativity Scene that is set to be on display on the front lawn of the MEG building is expected to be a main draw at “The Meg.” The festival is open today from 3 to 8 p.m. and during the same hours tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 8) and Sunday (Dec. 9).
For those who prefer to be inside admiring the trees, they can also walk Candy Cane Lane and experience the North Pole, Santa’s Workshop and the Christmas Café. For those who have set their sights on a tree to bring home, raffle tickets cost $1 each, $3 for 5, $10 for 15 or $20 for 25. There will be a winning ticket drawn for each tree, which will go home with its owners on Dec. 16 during the tree pickup time (8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Next weekend’s schedule: Friday (Dec. 14), 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, (Dec. 15), 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Xmas Calendar
Saugus has a number of holiday events coming up, including:
- Saugus Boy Scout Troop 62’s Annual Christmas Tree Sale is underway in the lot on Salem Turnpike (Route 107) at the Ballard Street lights. Residents will be able to buy holiday wreaths and trees – from table top size to eight feet tall – Monday through Friday: 4 to 10 p.m.; and Saturday through Sunday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., through Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) or until the trees and wreaths are sold out. Delivery is available and all proceeds support the scouts of Troop 62.
- A large gift-wrapped open box has been set up in the lobby of Town Hall to help collect donations for the toy drive being organized by Saugus firefighters for families who need a little help this holiday season. People who want to contribute can leave unwrapped toys in the box. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 14. The need for gifts is greater for older kids.
- A gospel musical Christmas Play! The First Baptist Church presents its Third Annual Gospel Musical Christmas Play, “Celebrate the King,” next weekend: two nights, Dec. 14 & 15, at the First Congregational Church-UCC Saugus (300 Central St.). This a twenty-first century version of Christ born to Mary and Joseph. The cast will perform all of your favorite Christmas songs, such as “Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child,” “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “King of Glory” and other great gospel songs. Get ready for some hand-clapping, toe-tapping, foot-stomping gospel music. For more details, check out this week’s “Saugus Faith Notes.”
- The Theatre Company of Saugus performs “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” adapted by Joe Laundry and produced by special arrangements with Playscripts, Inc. Tickets for the show, which begins next weekend, cost $17 to $23. The dates are as follows: Friday, Dec. 14 (8 p.m.); Sat., Dec. 15, (2 p.m.), Sat., Dec.15 (8 p.m.), Sunday, Dec. 16 (5 p.m.). The American Legion (44 Taylor St., Saugus) will host the shows. For more details, go to TCSaugus.org. For questions, email TGSaugus@gmail.com or call 781-816-7019.
For each unwrapped toy brought to donate for Toys for Tots, patrons can receive $3 off each ticket purchased at the door.
- There are a number of holiday-themed events happening now through the end of the year at the Saugus Public Library. Coming attractions include the following:
Holiday Cookie Decorating, next Wednesday (Dec. 12), noon to 1 p.m. in the Young Adult Room. This event is designed for Grade 6 and up.
A Snowflake Workshop! This a program that features art with Ms. Jess, set for next Thursday (Dec. 13) at 3 p.m. Basic scissors will be required for those who want to have fun making snowflakes from simple to complex designs.
Youth and Nature Evergreen Flower Arranging on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 3:30 p.m. Make one to keep or to gift! Recommended for children ages four and up.
Storytime and Craft with Kelly. Be prepared for “A very Grinchy Story Time!” Thursday, Dec. 20, 3:30 p.m. Listen to a holiday favorite. Stay for a Grinchy craft, games and cookies! Wear something Christmasy!
Music with Marybeth Maes. This is a Winter Holiday Concert set for Thursday, Dec. 27 at 10:30 a.m. For children of all ages!
Winter Break Craft! Make a giant snowman! Saturday, Dec. 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m. We’ll provide materials to make a darling snowman, or snowgirl! Bring anything special to make it your very own! Recommended for children ages four and up!
Editor’s Note: If you have a holiday-related event or fundraiser for a good cause and want to publicize it, email your announcement to firstname.lastname@example.org and leave a phone number for contact purposes.