Main Street Holiday Stroll

Shoppers take a ride down Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage during the 2019 Main Street Holiday Stroll. The event returns in person this Saturday, Dec. 4.

WOONSOCKET – The 13th annual Woonsocket Main Street Holiday Stroll is back in person this year and will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 2 to 7 p.m.

The Holiday Stroll Committee is partnering with the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative to host an event that showcases the city’s downtown, promotes shopping in local businesses and brings holiday cheer to the city.

Garrett Mancieri, executive director of the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative and Holiday Stroll Committee member, said the event is a great way to connect shoppers with local businesses and heighten interest from patrons in and outside of the city.

Over the years, Mancieri said, the committee has built up a good foundation, with 16 locations around Monument Square and Main Street where the stroll will be taking place.

There will be many activities for attendees to enjoy, including a stage with holiday-themed entertainment, fire performer, scavenger hunt involving 16 local businesses, kids’ zone, tree decorating contest for local schools and food vendors. At the same time, the city is hosting Winter Wonderland at River Island Park from 3 to 8 p.m., where kids can meet Santa and participate in other activities.

The range of events and activities provide an opportunity for all ages to participate in the holiday stroll and support the city, Mancieri said.

“It is a stroll, so we encourage people to walk up and down the district and see all the beautiful things we have,” he said. “We encouraged the businesses to decorate their windows and participate in the window decorating contest.”

Mancieri said that Woonsocket’s Main Street has seen a 30 percent reduction of vacant spaces over the past five years.

“The more fun events we can have like this, the more likely it is to fill up those vacant spaces,” he added. “I think that’s important because people want to be located where a lot of people are attracted to.”

Mancieri said that small businesses are always the ones that are there to stick up for the community and are always there to support community events and opportunities. The holiday stroll provides a great opportunity for people to give back and support local businesses.

“The holiday stroll is a great opportunity to bring new people into a business,” he said. “Maybe someone has driven down Main Street a bunch of times and never realized some of the businesses existed. The holiday stroll brings people in because they are looking for scavenger hunt items.”

Mancieri said that the holiday stroll is also a great way to also inform potential new businesses of the vacant locations.

“We put a lot of effort in, and we want to highlight the beautiful downtown we have left,” he said.

Last year the holiday stroll took place through Facebook Live. Performers came on video, allowing people to experience the stroll without being there in person. A scavenger hunt took place over the course of two weeks in order to keep large crowds from gathering in stores.

“I think a lot of people are looking forward to it coming back this year. It is a very popular event and brings thousands of people into our downtown area,” Mancieri said. “People are really anxious to go out to great events like this.”

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