hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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December 5, 2013

Taking a Christmas Stroll

Thousands to pack downtown for city's annual holiday event

(Continued)

The major part of the event will be a raffle with Downtown Haverhill Shopping Spree grand prize. To enter the raffle, any shopper who shops or dines downtown must go to the chamber booth during the stroll, validate sales receipts and receive a raffle ticket for every $5 spent, organizers said.

In addition to the raffle, the purchase of a Shop Local 2013 pin for $5 entitles shoppers to 20-percent discounts at participating retailers and a free appetizer with a meal at participating restaurants.

But the stroll is not just about shopping and eating.

Businesses will host activities including face painting, cookie decorating, photos with Santa, ornament decorating, magic shows and arts and crafts. Children will meet and get autographs from their favorite super heroes and TV characters. On hand will be Batman and Robin, Captain America, Big Bird, Elmo and other characters.

Carolers and a variety of musicians will provide background music and street entertainment for the crowds.

As away to attract more people to the downtown around the Wingate Street area, the Downtown Haverhill Committee will implement lighting of alleys linking Washington Street to the Wingate Street arts district.

Cars parked on the following streets during the stroll will be removed: Washington Street, Washington Square, Merrimack Street up to How Street, Essex Street up to Wingate Street, and Emerson Street up to Bailey Boulevard.

The stroll extends to these streets which will not be closed: The beginning of Merrimack Street up to How Street, Wingate Street, Granite Street and Railroad Square.

IF YOU GO

What: Annual Christmas Stroll

When: Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m., with a special local shopping event starting at 3 p.m. Streets will close to vehicles at 3 p.m. and reopen at 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Haverhill

Activities: Shopping at local stores, dining at local restaurants and lounges, Christmas tree lighting with Santa at 7:45 p.m.

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