Christmas In Harwich Gets Underway Dec. 3

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Holidays , Community events

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams displays one of many wreaths decorated by the Harwich Garden Club that will be placed around town. A Festival of Trees Christmas tree donated by New England Vacation Rentals is behind Williams. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH – The Chamber of Commerce is wrapping up plans for the Christmas in Harwich Weekend on Dec. 3 to 5. The weekend will include a visit from Santa, caroling, tree lighting, music and numerous other events. 

The shops in town will offer holiday sales and specials, and businesses and local organizations will be holding open houses, said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams.

Shoppers will be able to get a head start on the holiday season this weekend with the chamber-sponsored Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27. A passport and small business directory can be picked up at the chamber office identifying chamber members participating in the “Shop Small” event. Return the passport on Saturday with at least six receipts from participating members and get entered into a grand prize drawing of a giant laundry basket of goodies from the 24 participating businesses.

The Christmas in Harwich Weekend will begin on Friday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. with the tree lighting in Doane Park and caroling led by the Harwich Elementary School Chorus. The three-day event includes numerous activities around town.

The Christmas Stroll in Harwich Port also starts at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 with shopping, music and dining until at least 9 p.m. Santa will be arriving by fire truck at 6 p.m. at the chamber visitor information center and will be available in an outdoors setting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Public safety personnel will be on hand with the Homeless for the Holidays campaign collecting non-perishable food items, toys, cash and gift cards to benefit The Family Pantry of Cape Cod and Toys for Tots.

“The hope is children will bring a donation for the Homeless for the Holidays program and then visit with Santa and present their wish list,” Williams said.

There will be music in the Port with the Regency Brass Band performing on the porch of the William Raveis Real Estate office from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Harwich Town Band will be performing at TD Bank from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Guild of Harwich Artists will holds its annual ornament sale from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be a cookie sale outside Pilgrim Congregational Church from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

The stroll is a good time to place a bid on a pre-decorated Christmas tree. The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for The Family Pantry of Cape Cod. Trees are purchased and decorated by chamber members, many bearing valuable gifts, and people can place bids on each one. Many trees will be located in the lobby of the chamber office. Some trees are at the donating businesses, and trees will also be on display at the 400 East Restaurant.

The trees will be on display from Dec. 1 through 20. There are more than 30 trees this year, Williams said, up from 27 last year. The bids will be updated twice a day on the chamber’s website and Facebook page.

“We’re looking forward to another successful fundraiser for The Family Pantry,” Williams said.  

The Pilgrim Lodge will also be holding its seventh annual Buddy Hall Christmas Tree Memorial Fundraiser at Bud’s GoKarts at 9 Sisson Rd. on Nov. 27 and 28 and Dec. 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Harwich Garden Club will hold its holiday boutique at the community center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 3. The club will be selling handmade fresh green wreaths, holiday centerpieces, decorations and handmade ornaments.

There will be a free Advent Christmas Concert on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Harwich Center. The event includes choral and instrumental music as well and Christmas poetry and readings. There will also be a Christmas singalong.   

On Saturday and Sunday the Trolley to Christmas Town, sponsored by The Family Pantry, will roll from the chamber office to the Tern Inn in West Harwich between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Once there, guests will be greeted by Santa’s helpers and Santa will read  from “The Polar Express.” Children will also have the opportunity to write a letter to be presented to Santa. There is a charge of $5 per person. Williams recommends that participants arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the trolley.

On Sunday, Dec. 5 from noon to 2 p.m., students at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School will be on hand during the Christmas Stroll to lead community members through a student-curated exhibit of Rowland Scherman’s Civil Rights Era photographs, which were donated to the school in 2020.

The collection documents the people, places and events of America’s Civil Rights Movement from Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech and the March on Washington to Arthur Ashe’s groundbreaking tennis prowess, to artists like Langston Hughes and Sidney Poitier.

There will be no horse drawn carriage rides this year as the operator who provided those services has gone out of business, Williams said. But there will be plenty of events to keep people entertained during the weekend, she added.