New London’s Celebration of Lights & Song To Feature Tree Lighting, Toy Drive, And More

Holiday-themed event is on Small Business Saturday

New London Fire Fighters and Police Department will be holding a toy drive.
New London Fire Fighters and Police Department will be holding a toy drive.

Downtown New London will come alive with holiday cheer on Saturday, November 30 at 4:00 p.m., when New London Main Street presents its annual Celebration of Lights and Song.

The tree lighting takes place on Small Business Saturday; a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Many retailers will offer specials such as refreshments or free gift-wrapping with purchase. 

The annual tree lighting ceremony will take place, along with caroling and other musical performances by Joseph Salcedo, Elijah's Magic, students from ISAAC School and Nathan Hale Magnet School and much more. You can also stop in the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse with the little ones to visit Santa. The event features Eastern Connecticut Ballet characters Clara, Sugarplum Fairy and the Nutcracker.

The New London Firefighters Union and the New London Police Union will hold its 5th Annual Toy Drive in Parade Plaza during the event. We encourage attendees to bring unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children that are less fortunate.

Celebration of Lights & Song is produced in collaboration with downtown businesses, the City of New London and other organizations.


* Meet and Greet with Sugar Plum Fairy
* Santa arrives at Little Red Schoolhouse
* Whales Tales Book Banks distributes books to children
* Performances at Parade Plaza by Elijah's Magic and the Elf Dancers  

* Joseph Salcedo performs
* ISAAC School and Nathan Hale Magnet School Students lead community caroling
* Tree Lighting on the lower Parade with Mayor Finizio and special guests (Santa, Sugarplum Fairy, Joseph Salcedo & more)


Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. This day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. New London Waterfront District businesses welcome you with specials throughout the day, refreshments and more. Participating businesses include The Drunken Palette, PINC, Northern Light Gems, Flavours of Life and many more.


Each year Celebration of Lights and Song serves as a preview for the Eastern Connecticut Ballet's production of the Nutcracker at the Garde Arts Center. This year's performances at the Garde are on December 14 and 15. Eastern Connecticut Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker and Clara will be available for photo opportunities, and will also accompany Mayor Finizio at the tree lighting at 5:00pm.

Joseph Salcedo and ISAAC and Nathan Hale school students

Students from ISAAC (Interdistrict Schools for Arts and Communication) and Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School will perform at the tree lighting at 5:00pm. Under the direction of Kate Fioravanti, Artistic Dean at Nathan Hale, and ISAAC music teacher Keith Vitali, they will perform holiday music in honor of Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. They will also lead public in caroling. The Day will provide songbooks. Joseph Salcedo, the 7th grader from ISAAC who performed on the Sesame Street float in the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and was recently a special guest performer at Foxwoods' Country, Gospel, Christmas Extravaganza, will open the singing with a solo performance. 

Whales Tales Book Bank

Whale's Tales Book Bank run by New London Youth Affairs will be at the event providing holiday books for children to choose and take home. Whales Tales encourages family literacy to be a part of family holiday traditions.


This year’s Christmas tree was made possible by a true community collaboration.  Offers to donate trees came from as far as Cromwell, Andover, Southington, and yes, even Bethlehem.  Ultimately,  Uncasville property owners Mr. & Mrs. Michael Diodato had this year’s perfect tree on their property, and it was delivered to Parade Plaza on Thursday, November 21, 2013 courtesy of East Coast Welding and Fabrication, 1068 Hartford Turnpike, Waterford.  Special thanks to East Coast Welding and Fabrication’s crew for donating time and services, including  Jeff Broadwell, owner; Brad Enns, Foreman; and James Rice. New London's Department of Public Works went above and beyond to pick out the tree and help with setup, Tim Hanser, Director of Public Works; Dave Denoia, Tree Warden; Tom Spinato; Rick Woodwood; Ronnie Goodwin; Moe Haig;  Chris Startz; Bruce Tackling, and Department of Economic Development and Planning’s Barbara Dixon for their support in obtaining and setting up this year's Christmas tree.

A Press Release from the City of New London

Michael Scott November 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM


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