WILTON, Conn. – Wilton Center will be a holly, jolly place Friday as the town kicks off the Christmas shopping season with the annual Wilton Chamber of Commerce Holiday Stroll.
Many shops in the town’s main shopping area will be open for the festivities, which begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday. It all begins with the arrival of Santa Claus with First Selectman Bill Brennan aboard a Wilton fire truck. Santa will hang around at the town’s gazebo for the evening to talk to children about what they would like for Christmas. The evening will also include the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree.
The stroll is a wonderful event that’s good for business in town and gets people in a holiday mood, Wilton Chamber President Peg Koellmer said.
“I think everyone is in a good mood,” Koellmer said. “You see neighbors you don’t get to see all year. It’s a social, heartwarming New England kind of experience.”
Many stores will participate as well, offering holiday snacks and warm beverages to visitors. The event is big for the stores because the shops rely on those holiday dollars, Koellmer said. “Don’t go running to the big box (stores) when you have small shops right here,” she said.
Wilton Center will be decked out for the occasion with banners and ribbons along light poles, Wilton Chamber Executive Director Janeen Leppert said. She is expecting 500 to 1,000 visitors, which is important for store owners, especially those who lost days of business after Hurricane Sandy.
The stroll “brings a lot of people to the center to visit and shop in the center,” Leppert said. “Anytime you can get a lot of people in the center for an event, it does nothing but benefit our businesses.”