MERIDEN — Santa Claus will parade through South Meriden with some neighborhood children as part of the 23rd annual Christmas in the Village celebration today.
“We’re very excited,” said event co-coordinator JoAnne Grabinski. “Of course after missing last year many people are looking forward to Christmas in the Village … so we’re happy to be back and we have a lot of our regular events.”
With a good forecast and plenty of new activities, she expects several thousand to attend the celebration, which runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Main Street, between Hanover School and Webb Street. The event will begin with the Santa parade.
Some of the new offerings include ice carving by Ice Matters in Cheshire, the Shoreline Bell Ringers, a touch-a-truck area with police and fire vehicles and the Meriden Public Library’s bookmobile.
This will also be the first year participants can receive a passport to fill out as they go between activities. Checking off ten or more boxes in the passport will allow them to pick up a treat from Thompson Chocolate at the information booth.
There will be chestnuts roasting over an open fire, hot chocolate served by the Salvation Army and cinnamon baked apples.
Participants can also purchase luminaries to benefit the Meriden Humane Society. The luminaries can be decorated and lit along Main Street at 4 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., there will be a tree lighting ceremony.
“It's like a big block party to celebrate the season and get it off to a good start,” Grabinski said.
Aprill Ouellette, who coordinates the event along with Ed Haberli, said there will be plenty of activities for children to enjoy. Run by people who live in the neighborhood, she said the event supports the district’s main thoroughfare.
“This is a little community down here in South Meriden … this is our own little special area,” she said. “ … It’s all run by the people who live in the area.”
Lauren Thompson, head of community services at the Meriden Public Library, said Christmas in the Village is a great showcase for South Meriden and brings people in to see the community that’s been fostered there. The library’s bookmobile will be giving out books.
“I think it's just exciting that this is happening again, we're happy to go out and see people. I think Meriden in particular loves Christmas and there’s great turnout,” she said.