The spirit of the season is right here in our community

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Concord is home to many. As we enter the holiday months, the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the season with others is as abundant as the cultures that populate the Capital region. It’s a time to come together and enjoy varied customs and traditions, and welcome newcomers to festive events enjoyed by generations of locals:

On Saturday, Nov. 23, look for Santa at the 68th Annual Concord Christmas Parade in the Heights at 9:30 a.m. And check out the Bektash Shriners Feztival of Trees throughout the day at 189 Pembroke Road. Proceeds for the latter support Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Feztival of Trees continues on Nov. 27, 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 9th Annual Gift of Lights opens at NH Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 28 and runs through January 5, from 4-9 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday and 4-10 on Friday and Saturday. This dazzling drive-thru light display benefits Speedway Children’s Charities New Hampshire Chapter, the Loudon Food Pantry and the Loudon Firefighters Association.

Concord Grange will host the 34th Concord Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on Friday, Nov. 29 starting at 3:30 p.m. Activities include horse-drawn wagon rides, live music and placing the creche on Capitol Plaza. Support this long-standing tradition along with others in our community like the Penacook Tree Lighting planned for Dec. 4 at Boudreau Square from 5:30-7 p.m., by making a donation. Call organizers at (603) 229-4967 or 496-2917 for more information.

Chanukah begins on Dec. 22 this year. In celebration of the Festival of Lights, join New Hampshire Chabad on Monday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at City Plaza in front of the New Hampshire State House for the lighting of the largest Menorah in New Hampshire!

Bring an unwrapped toy to Midnight Merriment on Friday, Dec. 6 for Intown Concord to donate to a local charity and enjoy the warm welcome from local merchants who will showcase their wares until midnight. The Arts Market will display handcrafted items in the Eagle Square Atrium at Giftopolis and music will fill the Downtown area.

Concord City Auditorium will host Concord Dance Academy’s Holiday Spectacular with 1 and 6 p.m. performances on Saturday, Dec. 7 and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. Over the past eight years Concord Dance Academy has donated over $10,000 to the Friends of the City Auditorium as well as The Friendly Kitchen through this event.

Experience the delights of Christmas in a simpler era at Canterbury Shaker Village. Joe Reardon Photography.

Experience the delights of Christmas in a simpler era at Canterbury Shaker Village. Joe Reardon Photography.Make Christmas cards for loved ones, decorate gingerbread cookies, create ornaments and enjoy a 19th Century magic show during Christmas at Canterbury on Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14 from 3-8 p.m. at historic Canterbury Shaker Village

Make meaningful connections with fellow members, business leaders, and young professionals while supporting community members in need. On Dec. 10, bring six (6) non-perishable food items to Holiday Business After Hours with CYPN hosted by The Duprey Companies from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center for the Capital Region Food Program's Holiday Food Basket Project.

Head to New Hampshire Historical Society on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10-11 a.m. for Tales of New Hampshire Holiday Family Storytime. Storytellers will share classic tales about NH holiday celebrations at this free program. Families are also invited to play traditional games, make a craft to take home, and visit the “Discovering New Hampshire” exhibition.

The holiday season is a great way to support local retail shops and all the nonprofit organizations that bring so much to our community through services that support those in need—visit our Membership Directory and select Retail, Non-Profits, etc., for gift and charitable giving ideas. Listings include descriptions, website links, maps and contact information.

Most of all, make time to celebrate this joyful season. Whether it’s introducing your children to the traditions of simpler days, getting into the spirit with neighbors and friends, supporting nonprofits through events or donations, or celebrating the diversity that makes our community special by trying something new, it’s a wonderful time of year to celebrate one of life’s best gifts—one another.

Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog.

Incorporated in 1919, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce turned 100 years old on October 18 and is one of the largest chambers in the state with more than 950 members. New Hampshire's state capital chamber of commerce develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate, and enhances quality of life in the Capital region. It is deeply invested in the local community and dedicated to shaping competitive economic development strategy, advocating for policies and projects that benefit the region, and promoting Concord as a culturally vibrant visitor destination. For more information visit ConcordNHChamber.com.

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