By LISA HOOVER
NORWOOD -- The Norwood Holiday Festival will return for its fifth year, with wagon rides, a memory tree and a parade of lights.
This year’s festival, again sponsored by Norwood businesses, will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the village park. The entire festival, including the raffles and refreshments, will be free.
Additions to the festival this year will include visits by favorite Disney characters, a board listing the names of the those on the memory tree and the addition of tractor-pulled wagon rides, according to festival organizer and owner of the Hometown Café, Sue Frego. “We try to do something new every year,” she said.
The festival will kick off with the parade of lights down Main Street at 5 p.m., which will include floats again this year, followed by the Angel Memory Tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.
During the tree lighting parade-goers will be able to stay warm near a big bon fire and enjoy music by the Norwood Brass Fireman and carolers at the band shell, Frego said. This year’s tree lighting will include a board listing the names of those honored. “We found that some people couldn’t hear the reading over the band and people rushing to the wagon rides,” Frego said.
Also returning this year are the raffle drawings, with prizes this year to include an Ipad 2, Frego said. Refreshments will include cookies, candy and cocoa.
Santa and the Grinch will be making an appearance again this year, joined for the first time by Disney characters. The characters will be available for photos with festival participants.
The wagon rides around town will also continue this year, with a tractor-pulled wagon in addition to the traditional horse-drawn wagon. “The lines were so long the last four years that we added a second ride,” Frego said.
Following tradition, the festival will coincide with the neighborhood house-decorating contest, allowing festival participants to enjoy the seasonally decorated homes. The judging for the contest will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, with prizes for the top decorated as well as a “wild card” winner, according to Frego. The winners will be announced at the festival.
Those wishing to have a loved one added to the memory tree can purchase bulbs at Perry’s Big M or the Hometown Café. All proceeds from the tree support the festival, with the businesses donations picking up the slack, according to Frego.