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Holiday Happenings and Blessings

A Living Nativity (2)
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Town kicks off season of celebration and goodwill with Christmas tree lighting tonight at Saugus Center and the 12th Annual Christmas Tree Festival at the MEG Building in Cliftondale

  Hundreds of town residents – from tots to senior citizens – will gather at Saugus Center tonight to officially welcome a month of goodwill, highlighted by the holidays and holy days. It all begins at 5 p.m. with the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony and evening of family events that feature horse-drawn sleigh rides, a petty zoo, bounce houses, a trackless train, a photo booth and a chance for children to greet and meet Santa Claus.

  The actual tree lighting will begin at about 7 p.m. when a group of children get to turn on the lights of trees decorated around Saugus Center as Santa Claus arrives in town with a police escort. Upon Santa’s arrival, he will enter Town Hall and go to the second floor auditorium, where he will accommodate a long line of children and grown-ups who want to share a photo opportunity with him. The town’s tree lighting night is one of the signature community events of the year in Saugus and always draws residents from neighboring towns. The town’s Youth & Recreation Department, assisted by several other town agencies, is organizing the annual tree lighting event again this year.

  Tonight will also mark the opening of another popular holiday season event in Saugus – the MEG Foundation’s 12th Annual Christmas Tree Festival – which gets underway at 3 p.m. at the MEG Building (54-58 Essex St.). The opening night of the tree festival will last until 8 p.m. and continue tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3) from 3 to 8 p.m. and Sunday (Dec. 4) from 1 to 6 p.m. The Christmas Tree Festival will continue next weekend: Dec. 9 (Friday) and Dec. 10 (Saturday) from 3 to 8 p.m. Santa will arrive on Dec. 10 for photos from 4:30 to 6 p.m. There will also be a petting zoo on the front lawn from 5 to 7 p.m.

Here are some of the upcoming holiday events planned this month in Saugus:

  The Saugus Garden Club will be holding a wreath decorating event tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3) at 1 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church. If you wish to attend, call Donna Manoogian at 617-240-9003. Reservations are required because space is limited.

  The Saugus Middle and High School Bands and Chorus will be performing their winter concerts this month at the Saugus Middle/High School Complex’s Lemoine-Mitchell Performing Arts Center. The Middle School Band and Chorus will perform next Tuesday (Dec. 6) at 7 p.m. and the High School Band and Chorus will perform onDec. 13 at 7 p.m. The Saugus Band Parents Association will have holiday raffle baskets and will be accepting canned goods in exchange for raffle tickets. The canned goods will benefit the Saugus United Parish Food Pantry at Cliftondale Congregational Church.

  Dec. 13 will also feature the formal dedication of the Lemoine-Mitchell Performing Arts Center at the Saugus Middle/High School Complex, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The auditorium is being named after two renowned performing arts educators who taught at Saugus High School for many years.

  Santa Claus will visit Breakheart Reservation next Sunday (Dec. 11) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center (177 Forest St., Saugus). Grown-ups are invited with their children to drop by Breakheart to meet Santa and take a photo. Families can also enjoy a few minutes by the roaring fire, enjoying the season and the majesty of Breakheart. Santa will give the children some candy canes, and light refreshments will be served. The Friends of Breakheart Reservation and the state Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) are sponsoring the events.

  New Hope Assembly Church welcomes all to its Living Nativity next weekend – Dec. 10 (Saturday) and 11 (Sunday) from 2 to 6 p.m. Visitors to the event will get to experience live animals, complimentary refreshments and festive music. All are welcome and everything is free! New Hope desires those who come to be able to take a break from the busyness of the holiday season to come breathe and share in the joy of Christmas. Church leaders invite Saugus residents to visit the Living Nativity at 9 Assembly Dr., Saugus.

  On Dec. 17 at noon, the Parson Roby Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (MA0136P) will observe its second Wreaths Across America event, helping both Riverside Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground Cemetery to remember and honor veterans by laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.

  There will be the lighting of the Menorah in front of Saugus Town Hall on Monday, Dec. 19 at noon. Rabbi Yossi will be leading the services. This will mark the beginning of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Celebration.

  The Annual Saugus Christmas Eve Parade, organized by the Saugus Police and Fire Departments, kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 24.

  Editor’s Note: Does your organization, church or business have plans for a holiday or holy event that they would like to publicize this month? Feel free to email an announcement or press release to mvoge@comcast.net, headlined “Holiday Happenings and Blessings.”

READY TO LIGHT UP: The town Christmas tree that stands in the monument rotary at Saugus Center was decorated with red bows and Christmas lights in preparation for tonight’s annual town tree lighting event. Family fun activities are set to begin at 5 p.m., with the tree lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa Claus set for around 7 p.m. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler)
THE TREE AT THE MEG decorated by the Saugus Tree Committee (2)-2
THE TREE AT THE MEG: This tree was decorated by the Saugus Tree Committee at the MEG Foundation’s 11th Annual Christmas Tree Festival last year. This year’s spectacular showing of Christmas trees will have the town in the holiday spirit this weekend and next weekend. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate)

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