Holiday Season Kicks Off with Worcester Festival of Lights

Joseph Abrams ’23

Chief News Editor

With finals season in full gear and a withering amount of dining dollars to spend on Winter treats, you may feel as though your holiday aura hasn’t quite returned to form. Holy Cross had its own Christmas Tree lighting and is hosting its own round of carol performances, but for those of you who couldn’t make it to any of the on-campus activities, the city around you is a holiday hub waiting to be explored. Last week, the Worcester Festival of Lights introduced the season of snow, cold weather, and gifts with their own lighting ceremony in the Worcester commons. 

For those of you hoping for a lot of presents this coming Christmas, you may be remiss to have missed the Festival of Lights. Santa Claus himself came to usher in the season, joined by a number of choirs from local public schools. Fans of the Voice also missed out on a chance to meet two current contestants: Cara Brindisi and Kara McKee, both on the show right now, made the trip to the city of smiley faces and Polar seltzer to perform for the light ceremony. Seven Worcester-themed light light arrangements around the Commons, which will remain on display until late February. This year’s festival of lights was particularly important as it’s celebrated during Worcester’s Tercentennial, marking 300 years since Worcester was incorporated as a city. 

While Holy Cross’s ice rink remains closed for casual skating, the lights ceremony marks this season’s opening of the ice rink in the Worcester Commons. Those looking for a study break during finals week or a romantic night out before going home for the month, the Commons is your spot. The rink is open from 5:00 to 9:00 P.M. on weekdays and from 1:00 to 6:00 P.M. on weekends, costing $5 to skate and an extra $5 to rent.

A tree was also lit on the newly refurbished Kelly Square on Saturday, and community venues joined in the holiday fun. The Kelley Square holiday Extravaganza, besides featuring Santa on his sleigh, saw a handful of Canal District businesses offering discounts, free gifts, and activities for those who showed up. WXLO, one of Worcester’s most popular radio stations, provided music for the event and gave out gifts, while local favorite Table Top Pies gave out small pies to attendants. 

Worcester residents who were more interested in exercising their creative muscles could do so during Sunday’s the stART on the Street event, which closed out the weekend. More than 125 local artists and crafters populated the event with completely handmade products to gift to your friends and family. Refreshments were provided by Birch Street Bakery, a staple of the Holy Cross student’s experience, and the event was held at the edge. 

If you didn’t make it to any of these events last week, there’s no need to fret– there are still on-campus activities left before finals close out. If you’re reading this the day that it’s printed, the Holy Cross Bookstore will still be holding a 20% off sale on all in-stock, regularly priced items.

Photo courtesy of Discover Central Massachusetts

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