By REGAN TUTTLE
Norwood Post Editor
The Norwood Chamber of Commerce has announced that it’s time to “haul out the holly.”
Dec. 9 is Noel Night in Norwood, and many of the town’s beloved holiday traditions continue. This year, new celebrations are also in the making.
Noel Night will kick off at 6 p.m. at the Pocket Park (the corner of Grand Avenue and Summit St.) with the town’s first-ever community Christmas tree lighting. Chamber President John Dotson said the chamber invites the all community members. Norwood School first-grader William Jacobs will light the town’s tree.
Immediately after, Santa Claus will visit the Pocket Park to greet little ones and distribute flashlights and candy canes. A small bonfire there will be available to help keep folks warm throughout the evening.
Noel Night’s annual parade of lights happens again, this year at 7 p.m. The chamber board has selected Moe Currie to serve as grand marshal.
Dotson said a trophy will be awarded to this year’s best lit parade float. He encourages all businesses, nonprofits or other organizations, as well as grades at Norwood School, to consider entering a parade float.
During the parade, Norwood’s varsity cheerleaders will hand out candy. Dotson said the chamber is requesting that those riding floats refrain from throwing candy into the crowd for safety reasons.
“It’s dark, and we want kids to be safe,” he said.
The chamber will that evening also announce the winner of the local business’ holiday decorating contest, and businesses are encouraged to begin decorating their storefronts now. The winning business will be awarded a $100 prize.
Noel Night has traditionally been a way for the community to support local businesses during the holiday season, and many will remain open late on Noel Night to offer discounts or specials. Tom and Jenn Mortell said Ace Hardware will offer grab bag discounts for 10 to 40 percent off store merchandise.
Gen Roach said Happy Belly Deli will host a craft show. The restaurant will also feature an appetizer menu, plus coffee drinks and desserts. Roach will hold a drawing for a deli gift certificate that night.
The FRESH Food Hub will have Lori Thayer’s BIN — Baked in Norwood — sweet treats available and hold a drawing for a gift basket.
Dotson said other businesses will remain open too.
Also happening next Friday evening at 7 p.m. is the Christmas Cantada, a free musical event for the public, held at Norwood’s Southern Baptist Church.
Dotson said he would like to see large numbers of community members on Norwood’s main street for the town’s Noel Night celebration.
“My hope is that everybody comes out to enjoy each other, and the town, and to remember the real reason of Christmas,” he said.
Dotson said he especially thanked chamber member Jessica Bicknase of All Mountain Motors for her leadership and planning of this year’s Noel Night.