Awesome Holiday Weekend

Saturday’s 6th Annual Holiday Stroll kicked off with the year’s most anticipated road races! The Santa Sightings 5K Fun Run started off with a word from Mayor Jon Mitchell, followed by hundreds of Santas running through the streets of New Bedford. There was a few Elf, Grinch, and Cindy Lou Who sightings along the way too!

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Santa Runs have become a world wide phenomenon, with thousands of Santa’s showing up to these events from Liverpool, England to our very own New Bedford, Massachusetts. Besides the obvious, The Sightings 5K isn’t your typical road race. It’s all about fun for racers and spectators alike. You can run, walk, crawl, roll, or whatever you’d like to get through the course, as long as it’s a jolly time! Finishing times aren’t recorded, so you won’t have to worry about an embarrassing racing time posted anywhere with your name next to it. While time will be displayed on a clock at the finish line, the main goal is to have fun and be safe.

After the race, the “Official” Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance at the Custom House Square across the street from Freestone’s City Grill and Carter Clothing & Foothwear, where children and their parents eagerly waited to greet them. From there, Santa and Mrs. Claus led the parade of excited children down to Maré Studios for some free souvenir photos. Meanwhile, some friends from the Buttonwood Park Zoo gave the Custom House Square a visit too, with an appearance by one of their amazing owls! Needless to say, there weren’t many seagulls around the park.

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Businesses downtown got into the fun too, with all kinds of events going on for the crowd to enjoy. Destination Soups had free soup samples all day, and Travessia Winery gave out free wine tastings along with complimentary samples from Wicked Kickin’ Cheesecakes. We tasted Wicked Kickin’s New Beige and Whitey Bulger cheesecakes, and even bought a bottle of Travessia’s deliciously sweet Vidal Blanc white wine. The Whaling Museum hosted a few local vendors in the Jacobs Gallery, with plenty of fun gift ideas to go around. After enjoying some live music at Cafe Arpeggio, we shopped around in Moby Dick Retail and the Bedford Merchant for some unique and creative gifts for the family!

The Tree Lighting Ceremony capped the day off, with a parade featuring the New Bedford High and All-City Middle School Marching Band. The day’s festivities made for one of the best days of the year, with holiday music, tasty food, and cheer all around.

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Jonathan Faria

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