Lainey Dionne, Winter Solstice & Christmas at the Grange: Five things to know in Glocester this week

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Southern New England Witch Dance Troupe also performed a Summer Solstice event in Chepachet.

Cancelled

After two weather-related cancellations over the past two weeks, Glocester First Responders have announced that their annual Santa parade has been cancelled for 2023. Officials promised that the event will return in 2024 bigger and better than ever.

Candlelight events

Candlelight shopping in Chepachet continues this week, with some special elements planned for visitors on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Lainey Dionne will perform a free Christmas concert at the stage at the Glocester Heritage Society building at 1181 Main St. from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. At Masons Friendship Lodge #7 at 1167 Putnam Pike, members will be serving s’mores over an open fire and Mrs. Claus will read “The Night Before Christmas” at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The group will also offer free homemade soup and bread for visitors. Chepachet Union Church at 1138 Putnam Pike will also host a free soup night from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Candlelight shopping events take place over three Thursdays in December from 5 to 9 p.m. Learn more here.

Christmas at the Grange

Santa, bearing resemblance to state Rep. Brian Rea, will be ditching his sleigh on Saturday, Dec. 16 and riding shotgun on a firetruck en route to an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Laurel Grange at 347 Snake Hill Road.

The party, hosted by the Glocester Republican Town Committee will begin at 4 p.m. with Santa to arrive by 5 p.m., and will feature free goodies for children, Christmas music, free pizza and snacks, along with an assortment of desserts ranging from cake to cookies, and coffee and hot chocolate to wash it down. Children can also play pin the nose on the snowman. The public is invited to attend.

Winter Solstice

The Southern New England Witch Dance Troupe will hold a special Winter Solstice event on Sunday, Dec. 17, offering more than just their now well-known choreographed dance routines. Co-founder and creative director Bernie Courtney said the event will be a first for the troupe, featuring an educational presentation about the Winter Solstice.

“People may not know that the tradition of gift giving at Christmas stems from the ancient Pagan Yule tradition of gift giving,” Courtney said. “Christmas actually draws deeply on the Winter Solstice rituals. Our members have been planning for some time how to best present the different Yule traditions and customs.”

One member, Brenda Maxwell, will hand out candles and invite the audience to participate in a lighting ceremony.

“In the days of old people would gather together to light candles and place them on evergreen wreaths, holly trees and wooden logs,” said Courtney. “The candle will connect us in its strength and faith in what’s to come, it’s symbol of what the light brings – warmth of the sun and life.”

Some of the dances will be performed around a Yule tree, and there will be gifts for the audience, and pine cones for the traditional wish ritual, where participants write a wish on a piece of paper, place it in a pine cone, then throw it in the fire.

“We won’t have a fire but we will have a Yule log,” Courtney said. “This is a unique event for us and we’re super excited to bring it to Chepachet.”

The event will take place at 5 p.m. in front of Century 21. More details can found on the troupe’s fan page.

Town meetings

The Glocester School Committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Dec, 12, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall at 1145 Putnam Pike. The agenda is here.

The Glocester Housing Authority will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 starting at 7 p.m. in the community room at Pine Meadow at 56 Victory Highway. The agenda is here.

The Assessor’s Board of Review will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 starting at 7 p.m. at Town Hall at 1145 Putnam Pike. The agenda is here.

The Glocester Land Trust will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 starting at 7 p.m. at Town Hall at 1145 Putnam Pike. The agenda is here.

The Board of Canvassers will hold a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14 starting at 1 p.m. at Town Hall at 1145 Putnam Pike. The agenda is here.

The Board of Contracts & Purchases will hold a meeting on Friday, Dec. 15 starting at 10 a.m. at Town Hall at 1145 Putnam Pike. The agenda is here.

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