HARWICH — Christmas in Harwich will not be as festive this year as in the past, when traditional events such as the Christmas stroll brought the community together for a tree lighting, the arrival of Santa on a fire truck, horse drawn carriage rides through the streets and local shops with doors wide open with holiday spirit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed the festive side of the holiday season, but the chamber of commerce is going to great lengths to continue to embrace the spirit of the season. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams has just released the schedule for a number of holiday events in the “There’s No Place like Harwich for the Holidays” chamber holiday promotion.
Williams is encouraging people to celebrate a festive and safe holiday season in the seven villages of Harwich. The festivities begin this weekend with Shop Small Saturday, with the chamber welcoming holiday shoppers to come into town and visit the many small shops that drive the local economy.
“Lets come together safely this holiday season while continuing to support all of our small businesses,” Williams urged members of the community.
While out shopping, the opportunity also exists this weekend to purchase a Christmas tree. The Pilgrim Masonic Lodge crew will be selling trees from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from Bud’s Go Karts at the corner of Sisson Road and Route 28. The Lodge will be selling Christmas trees again on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, same time and place.
Trees are a major theme of the holiday events over the next several weeks. The fourth annual Festival of Trees fundraiser for The Family Pantry of Cape Cod will run from Dec. 1 through Dec. 20. The trees are decorated by local businesses and contain a number of gifts as part of the tree decorations. Trees this year will be located in either donors’ businesses or at the chamber visitor center in Harwich Port. Social distancing will be strictly adhered to.
Williams is urging people to pick up the silent auction booklet for the various trees to learn where they will be located. The booklets can be obtained at the chamber’s visitor center or accessed online at www.harwichcc.com.
On Friday, Dec. 4, holiday spirit will be illuminated in each of the seven villages of Harwich with the lighting of Christmas trees. The lights will be turned on from dark to 10 p.m. each night through Dec. 31. The trees will be located at the new fire station in East Harwich; the Pilgrim Masonic Lodge in Harwich Center; the chamber of commerce visitors’ center in Harwich Port; Newbury Street South Salon and Spa in South Harwich; the town transfer station in North Harwich; the new Cape Cod Tech Regional High School in Pleasant Lake; and Chase Library in West Harwich.
On Saturday, Dec. 5 parents are encouraged to bring good little boys and girls to the Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Bank drive-through window at the East Harwich branch from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a visit with Santa. From 4:30 to 6 p.m. children are encouraged to enjoy a virtual story time with Santa. The event requires signing up with the chamber of commerce. There will be a second virtual story time on Dec. 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., also requiring signing up with the chamber. Also on Dec. 5, Reciprocity will host a live nativity in the barn behind the shop.
From Dec. 7 through Dec. 18, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., bring the kids to the Seaside Marketplace at Saquatucket Harbor to drop off letters to Santa and receive a sneak peak of the North Pole. Santa will not be present because he is too busy at the North Pole preparing for that long sleigh ride. Masks must be worn at all times, Williams said.
For more information visit the Harwich Chamber of Commerce website, www.harwichcc.com or call 508 430-1165.