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Center Harbor tree lighting set for Saturday

The Center Harbor Bandstand will be the center for some holiday fun again this Saturday for Center Harbor's annual tree lighting. (File Photo) (click for larger version)
November 24, 2021
CENTER HARBOR — Two years after the last tree lighting and after a perilous 2020, the Center Harbor Community Development Association is starting back up and once again hosting the a tree lighting this Saturday.

Center Harbor's tree lighting will take place this Saturday, Nov. 27, starting around 5 p.m. at the Center Harbor bandstand. People can gather around 5 p.m. for Free hot chocolate and cookies. The Center Harbor band will take the stage around 5:30 p.m. and play carols for people to sing. The tree lighting will take place soon after.

To prepare for cold temperatures there will be heaters at the event. The Municipal Building will also be open for people to come in and warm up.

"We're trying to just get everybody to a good start for the Christmas season, old fashioned Christmas season," said Selectman and CHCDA member Harry Viens.

This year's tree lighting will be the first event the CHCDA has hosted since the tree lighting in 2019.

The Center Harbor Community Development Association organized events and economic development opportunities in Center Harbor for several years. Viens said the onset of the pandemic put the organization into hibernation.

In 2020, they made the decision not to hold LobsterFest, which he said is a major fundraiser for the organization for its general funds and its community efforts.

Viens said during this time all the members focused on their businesses during the difficult time and faced so many issues such as not enough business, not enough staff, and many others.

He said now that the vaccine is widely available things are gradually opening up and there is a lot more optimism.

He sent an email to all the CHCDA members about getting the organization going again and got an enthusiastic response.

He said they are hoping the tree lighting will have a good enough turnout that they can plan for a winter beach party in February. He said the ultimate goal is to bring back LobsterFest in August.

"We've talked about it, the working feeling is let's see how the Christmas tree lighting goes," Viens said. "If we get good response lets move to the beach party in February culminating in getting the lobster cookout. If this plays out well were going to go full tilt boogie here."

He said the tree lighting and the other two events take place outdoors and allow for social distancing, creating an ideal environment to have some events.

"The emphasis is to be safe, but at the same time have some fun and get that normal feeling again," Viens said. "What is more hopeful than Christmas, it's that time of year."

Viens said after almost two years of the pandemic, there is a huge desire for things to get back to as normal as much as possible.

"Basically, everybody I've talked to and most of the people in the association, they're hearing from their customers and friends: everybody's hankering to get back to normal," Viens said.

Martin Lord Osman
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