West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square will be filled with holiday spirit Friday for the annual holiday stroll.
“This is an event that’s kind of a ‘thank you’ to people who support the businesses,” West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner said.
The Holiday Stroll begins at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. with karaoke at the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road, Lerner said. A tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at Blue Back Square.
Though the celebration is typically the first Thursday in December, organizers decided to change the date to Friday so families can stay out later and not worry about bringing their children home for school the next day.
Lerner said crowds typically range from 3,000 to 5,000.
Two stages will be set up for high school carolers, a cappella performances, two ballet performances and the Sound of New England Chorus. One stage will be in Blue Back Square and one at the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road. There will be carolers in front of Nutmeg Financial State Credit Union on Farmington Avenue and the Conard High School jazz combo will perform outside Cookshop Plus on Farmington Avenue.
Two Santas will be available for photos — one will arrive at Toy Chest on Farmington Avenue by firetruck and the other will arrive by convertible for the tree lighting ceremony at Blue Back Square. There will be a marshmallow roasting station on Farmington Avenue in front of Hart Real Estate. The Mandell Jewish Community Center will give out Hanukkah treats, too.
The Yard Goats and Wolf Pack mascots plan to make an appearance, too, and the Children’s Museum will have live animals.
There will be a mitten collection outside of B K & CO on Farmington Avenue ahead of Sunday’s mitten run.
Isham Road will be closed during the Holiday Stroll.
Most of the stores, restaurants and businesses will have samplings of popcorn, hot chocolate and cookies.