Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Celebrate the holidays with the annual downtown tree lighting on Friday, Nov. 25 and the Holiday Stroll on Nov. 26

Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26 — RUTLAND — It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in the heart of Rutland city. The snow is here, and the Downtown Rutland Partnership is looking forward to the festivities planned for Thanksgiving weekend.

On Friday, Nov. 25, folks are invited to join in Depot Park for Santa’s arrival by fire truck to light the downtown Rutland Christmas tree. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., people will be able to enjoy a free cup of hot cocoa from Mission City Church, sing along to a performance of carols from the Rutland High School choir, and hear a few words from the mayor of Rutland before Santa lights the tree. The first 200 attendees at the tree lighting will also receive free holiday light specs and candy canes.

“The holidays are naturally a very special time of year,” said Tiffany Saltis, executive director at the Downtown Rutland Partnership. “As the new ED this year, it was important to continue these classic events. At the same time, it was an opportunity to expand and reimagine some offerings to drive meaningful engagement throughout our district.

New this year, family-friendly fun will be available before and after the tree lighting at Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum, where kids will have a chance to decorate their own free holiday ornament. The ornaments, which were made in Rutland at the MINT Makerspace, will be available for decorating from 5-7 p.m. Also on Friday, the Paramount Theatre is hosting a 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. showing of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” — presenting a great opportunity to make a day of downtown activities.

All weekend long, folks are encouraged to walk around downtown Rutland to admire the festively decorated windows as the holiday window decorating contest will also kick off Nov. 25. The contest will run until Dec. 27, and community members will be encouraged to vote for their favorite.

Fun will continue Saturday, Nov. 26 with the Holiday Stroll in celebration of Small Business Saturday. Organized by the Downtown Rutland Partnership and presented by Heritage Family Credit Union and Price Chopper Supermarkets, stops throughout downtown will feature sales, giveaways, tastings, and activities. The Stroll begins at 7a.m. with offers occurring at varying times during the course of the day.

For those looking to get a start on their holiday shopping, downtown Rutland will be the place to be. Sales ranging from 10-50% off will be happening at businesses including Camille’s Experienced Clothing, Mountain Music, Trapdoor Clothing, Unlimited Potential, Draw Go Games, The Gymnasium, Timco Jewelers, Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center, True Yoga Vermont, Digital Repair Surgeons, GreenSpell Plant Shop, and Studio Mini.
The day’s happenings are not limited to shopping, however. Snack on treats at Diamonds & More and Hand Carved by Ernie, take advantage of free home delivery of purchases (15-minute radius) at Phoenix Books, sip on refreshments at Fruition Fineries, enjoy free gift wrapping at Divine and many other shops, score ornament giveaways at Wild Kind Toys, and partake in McNeil & Reedy’s chance for you to win a two-night stay at a ski chalet in Manchester.

The Downtown team will also be about and handing out shopping bags to shoppers, containing a range of goodies: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cards, family memberships to Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum, Paramount Theatre tickets, gift cards, and more. The Downtown Rutland Partnership encourages folks to look for announcements as gifts will be announced almost daily leading up to the special event.

For more details about holiday events in downtown, the list of participating holiday businesses with their offers, and to access a convenient downtown gift guide, visit downtownrutland.com.

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