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THING 49 - Holiday Stroll in Downtown Greenwich

THING 49 - Holiday Stroll in Downtown Greenwich

"Caroling, gospel music, entertainment and ice sculptures will set the season in motion in downtown Greenwich, while over 75 retailers and restaurants welcome shoppers with specialty foods and products at the Second Annual Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend presented by TD Bank to Benefit Kids in Crisis, Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Greenwich merchants from East and West Putnam Avenue to Lewis Street to East and West Elm Street to Mason Street and along Greenwich Avenue will be joining the fun festivities. And, parking will be free all day Saturday.

An ice sculpture competition, a new element this year, will involve six professional ice carvers who will work in tents on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. A panel of judges will choose the winners and the finished creations will be on display on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday's line-up of activities also includes breakfast with Santa at TD Bank from 8 to 9 a.m. and at noon at the main tent in front of Saint Mary Parish, 178 Greenwich Avenue, Holiday Stroll Opening ceremonies with First Selectman Peter Tesei, Duncan Lee, Manager of TD Bank in Greenwich, Lou Liodori, General Manager of Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich, and Shari Shapiro, Executive Director of Kids in Crisis. The ceremonies will include a special salute to the military, families of soldiers and veterans with a Color Guard conducted by the VFW.

Ten tents throughout downtown will feature a variety of musical groups on both days, including the Good News Gospel Choir with Chris Coogan, The Grace Notes, a popular Greenwich women's a cappella group, The Off Sounders, Greenwich's premier men's a cappella group, and more.  In addition, special Greenwich Reindeer Shopping Passports will be available at participating retail outlets and restaurants. Shoppers can have their passports stamped when they make a purchase and bring their completed passports to Santa's Mailbox at McArdle's Florist & Garden Center, where they can enter a contest to win one of three grand prizes.  Shoppers who visited participating retailers will have their names in an ad in the Greenwich Time.

The 75 participating retailers and restaurants have paired with specialty vendors to offer food and drink tastings and other unique product samplings to make this year's holiday shopping an enjoyable experience. At each location, there will be a donation box for shoppers to contribute to Kids in Crisis and information about the organization. "Because there are no parking fees on Saturday, perhaps that presents an opportunity for people to give that money to Kids in Crisis instead," said Allen L. Corry, Director of Parking Services in Greenwich.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the weekend and the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop will go to the organization.  The Holiday Stroll coincides with the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop presented by Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich, November 26 through December 24. Four live reindeer will live at McArdle's Florist & Garden Center where families, children, pets, and corporate groups can have their photo taken with Santa at his workshop and the proceeds will benefit Kids in Crisis.

"We are thrilled to be part of this extraordinary holiday program," said Duncan Lee of TD Bank in Greenwich, the presenting sponsor for the Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend. "This is a great way to start the season and at the same time, give back to those in need." Tent Sponsors include Eveready Transportation, Vinylume, Inc. and Venture Portraits.  Additional sponsors are Pepsi, Reindeer Stable Sponsor; People's United Bank, Santa's Workshop Sponsor; and Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich, presenting sponsor of the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop.  Media Sponsors include The Advocate/Greenwich Time, Brooks Community Newspapers, Moffly Media and AM1490 WGCH. Reindeer sponsors are North American Power, Patriot National Bank, Panera Bread and Shaklee. Event partners include Eagle Fence & Guardrail, M.H. Heaven Real Estate,  Interstate Lumber, LoParco Associates and the Town of Greenwich Department of Parking Services.  Creative design by Creative Insight.

"We greatly appreciate the support for our mission, especially during the holiday season," said Shari Shapiro, Executive Director of Kids in Crisis. "We hope everyone will come out and enjoy these wonderful activities."  Connecticut's ONLY facility for children newborn to age 17, Kids in Crisis, www.kidsincrisis.org, provides free, temporary shelter, therapeutic counseling, comprehensive medical care and specialized educational support for children struggling with a wide range of issues including abuse, neglect, abandonment, family health issues and family conflict. Founded in 1978, the Kids in Crisis mission is a simple one: to keep every child safe and sound. More than 102,000 families and children have been helped by Kids in Crisis, through use of their temporary shelters, crisis intervention services or community programs throughout Fairfield County.

For more information about the 2010 Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend Presented by TD Bank to benefit Kids in Crisis, visit www.Greenwichreindeerfestival.com.  The event is created and produced by TMK Sports & Entertainment, a Greenwich-based event marketing company."

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