Help make a happy Warren Holiday Festival

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 10/27/22

Volunteers are needed for the Warren Holiday Festival, which will be the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov, 26).

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Help make a happy Warren Holiday Festival


Although it will be Elwood Donnelly’s first year at the helm of organizing Warren’s Holiday Festival, he’s no spring partridge. He’s been on the committee of volunteer organizers for 34 years, since the beginning, but the departure of 23-year committee chair Marilyn Mathison led to his appointment as the leader of Warren’s most magical time of the year.

“It gives you goosebumps every year,” he said during a recent interview. “It’s a magical moment when the lights go on on Water Street and Main Street. From every section of town, the streets are packed with happy faces and kids and hot chocolate and warm cider and music and fire spinners, it’s just a wonderful, wonderful event. I’m honored that the Town Council appointed me chair of this committee.”

Donnelly said that the committee is hard at work preparing for the festivities, which will include much of the same that attendees have come to expect — marching bands, fire spinning, and Santa riding on a fire engine to Town Hall ahead of the marquee illuminating of Main Street.
But Donnelly said candidly, he could always use more help.

“The more help we get, the easier it becomes for all the people involved, including the attendees,” he said. They’ll be able to find someone who can answer their questions right away.”

Donnelly specifically mentioned needing volunteers to help standby at the different shops and locations that will become hosts as part of the holiday scavenger hunt, and places where Santa will be such as the Fireman’s Museum on Baker Street and the Historic Warren Armory on Jefferson Street.

“We are collecting a nice list of volunteers but we will take as many as possible, and we will give them something to do,” Donnelly said. “It offers people an opportunity to be a part of it, and I think a lot of people have wanted that opportunity.”

The Holiday Festival, as is tradition, will be the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov, 26). If you want to volunteer, reach out to Donnelly at 401-392-1322 or email

Donnelly also asked any businesses who wished to contribute to the festival to reach out as well.

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