Warren will join together to welcome the holiday season when the town turns on its Christmas lights this Friday. This year, it won't be a child flipping the switch in front of town hall, though …
Warren will join together to welcome the holiday season when the town turns on its Christmas lights this Friday. This year, it won't be a child flipping the switch in front of town hall, though — the honors will fall to hundreds of residents across town, from Touisset to Company Street to Oyster Point.
Warren Holiday Festival organizer Marilyn Mathison and her assistants came up with the town-wide lighting idea as a way to build community in a time when togetherness is hard to find. With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the large communal lighting ceremony usually held downtown, she wants residents to decorate their homes before the big day, but refrain from lighting them prior to 6 p.m. Friday. At the appointed hour the town's emergency siren will wail, giving the OK for residents across town to light their lights together.
Ms. Mathison has secured the use of two drones, which will film the lighting from hundreds of feet above Warren. After the lighting, Santa will start a whirlwind tour of Warren, and the plan is to have the Jolly Elf visit every neighborhood by night's end. When you hear fire engine sirens, head outside and wave to him as he passes by.
The festival continues Saturday, as is the norm, but this year will be special: Instead of dozens of different activities around downtown Warren, there will be just one: A scavenger hunt that will include prizes and goodies to take home. It runs from noon to 4 p.m.
Organizers came up with the idea over the past few weeks and artist Juliette Casselman created a map for "Warren Land" based on the children's game "Candy Land."
There will be 12 stations set up throughout downtown, and residents are encouraged to get a map (see www.warrenholidayfestival.com) and follow the clues to each. Volunteers will staffing each and everyone who finds one of the 12 will receive a sticker at each stop.
Those who find all 12 stations and collect all 12 stickers will be registered for a drawing. Prizes will include gifts from local merchants including toys, books and more.
And at each stop, kits will be handed out for at-home holiday activities that residents can complete in their own time.