Norwich – The city is ready to “Ring in the Holidays” starting Saturday with the second year tradition of combining the annual Winterfest Parade with the Light Up City Hall festivities and ending New Year’s Day with a major celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Norwich has been celebrating with bells throughout the year, having commissioned the nation’s first bell to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation as part of the annual Juneteenth celebration in June.
The Winter Festival Committee chose the “Ring in the Holidays” theme for the annual parade to continue celebration.
The parade on Saturday will step off from Chelsea Parade at 1:30 p.m. and will progress along Broadway, Broad Street, McKinley Avenue, Franklin Street to Franklin Square and turn right onto Main Street and right onto Broadway to end at City Hall.
Entertainment at City Hall will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday with a carol sing-along, ventriloquist and magic shows, balloon art and face painting, horse-drawn wagon rides through downtown and a visit by Santa to turn on the City Hall lights shortly after dark. All events are free.
On New Year’s Day, the Emancipation Proclamation Commemoration Committee plans a bell-ringing celebration with cannon and rifle salutes to re-enact the city’s response 150 years ago to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. All working bells in the city will ring for an hour starting at noon that day. Other events for the day will be announced as plans become solidified.