SOUTHINGTON — Highway and Parks department crews were checking the lights on holiday sculptures that will line the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail for White Christmas in the Community on Friday.
It’s the fourth year of a holiday event in Southington and Plantsville downtowns that draws thousands. Businesses in both areas have giveaways and sponsor activities, including horse-drawn carriage rides, trolley rides with a magic act, live ice sculpting, singing and wreath-making.
This year, thousands of lights will be added to the 5,000 feet of trail between the two downtowns.
“Every year we try to grow, every year we try to offer more,” said Dawn Miceli, a member of the event steering committee.
The event is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
The steering committee includes Miceli, Rob Flood, Susan Urillo Larson, Joanne Alfieri and Dolores Fanelli. Alfieri and Fanelli helped organize Christmas in the Village, a Plantsville holiday celebration, for decades before the event was combined with a downtown Southington festival four years ago.
Flood said they’ve had spotlights in previous years to illuminate the trail for the night of White Christmas, but that there were still dark sections. The ground lights purchased this year will light the trail for those traveling between downtowns.
The metal frame light sculptures the committee has acquired over the past few years will line the trail with other decorations. Through donations, the committee has gotten an artist to create a moose, apple, horse and bear.
Committee members hope to add more in future years.
“We would like to see the linear trail look like Hubbard Park,” Flood said, referencing the annual holiday light sculpture display in Meriden. “If we can do a couple each year, we can get there.”
After White Christmas, the sculptures are displayed in town. On Friday, committee members decided which would go on the Plantsville Green and which would go to the Town Green.
Flood said cleanup after White Christmas is handled by the committee and a host of volunteers. That sometimes mean cleaning up trash at 1 a.m.
“We want to leave no trace on the trail when we’re done,” he said.
The group estimated that 9,000 attended last year’s White Christmas, many from surrounding towns.
Maps showing all the events and activities of White Christmas will be available Friday. Shuttle buses are located at Riccio Way, the Southington Public Library and Clock Tower Square, 710 Main St., in Plantsville.