BY DONNA RHODES
PLYMOUTH — The time is near for another fun filled weekend as the Plymouth Rotary prepares to kick off their annual Hometown Holiday Celebration on the weekend of Dec. 6-8 with a wide array of activities for everyone to enjoy.
The excitement begins on Friday, Dec. 6 with the Festival of Trees at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center. From 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., visitors to the exhibit can not only enjoy the creativity of local businesses and craftsmen; they are also invited to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win any of the beautiful entries on display.
From 3:30-6:30 p.m. that afternoon, teens of the Pemi Youth Center at 111 Main St. will be joined by members of the Senior Center to offer babysitting for children aged one and up. The free service will allow moms and dads time to get some holiday shopping done or to relax for dinner at any of the fine restaurants in the area.
Theater goers can also enjoy one of two performances that evening, starting with the Contemporary Dance Ensemble at Plymouth State University’s Silver Center for the Arts at 7 p.m., and “Nutopia,” a new look at the works of John Lennon, which will be held at the Flying Monkey at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the fun kicks off bright and early at 8 a.m. with the Third Annual Plymouth Elementary School Jingle Bell 5K Trail Run/Walk. Registration fees from the event will benefit winter programs at PES. Those interested in participating can register or get more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 5K will be followed at 10 a.m. by a pancake breakfast at the school, which is open to all for a donation.
The Contemporary Dance Ensemble performance and the Festival of Trees continue on Saturday, and Plymouth Parks and Recreation will be hosting an afternoon “pajama party” at PES for boys and girls in grades K-6. Those interested in attending are asked to contact the recreation department office at 536-1397 to register for the party.
And as if that isn’t enough fun for one day, the excitement will mount at 4 p.m. with cookie decorating, a sing-a-long and tree lighting on the Common as everyone awaits the start of the Holiday Parade at 5 p.m. along Main Street.
“This isn’t actually part of the town’s anniversary celebration, but it is the Rotary Club’s final hoorah for Plymouth’s 250th year,” said Rotary member Steve Rand. “We’ll have all three elements that Walt Disney once said you need to have a successful event — it’s free, it’s for kids, and there’ll be food. On top of that, Santa will be in the parade. How can you beat that?”
Rand says the parade is expected to be even bigger and better than ever this year. Besides Santa, there will be marching bands, plenty of colorful illuminated floats, and lots more for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Following the parade, there will be a Chill Buster Bonfire and BBQ on Green Street, visits with Santa at the Senior Center and a spectacular fireworks display.
The weekend winds down on Sunday with free skating with Santa from 1-3 p.m. at PSU ice arena. Skates will be available for those who need them and there will be light refreshments, as well as photo opportunities with Santa.
Rotary is the primary sponsor for the celebration, and Rand said donations are always greatly appreciated to help bring in bands and other great entertainment throughout the weekend.
“This year, the Plymouth Rotary Charitable Foundation also named CADY (Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-Free Youth) as our designated charity,” said Rand. “Any extra funds from the parade will be given to them to help with all the programs they offer.”
Also contributing to success of the celebration are Bank of New Hampshire, Community Guaranty Savings Bank, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Northway Bank, Rands Hardware, PSU and the Common Man Family of Restaurants.
The final day for entries in the Hometown Holiday Parade is Friday, Nov. 29. For questions on how to register please contact Kelly of Meredith Savings Bank at 536-8228 or Marcie at 236-9121.