Somerville’s annual holiday celebrations kick off December 5

On November 24, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

tree1The holidays will come a little early to Somerville once again this year, with several celebrations planned throughout the month of December including the annual tree and Menorah lighting at City Hall, the Arts Council’s Illuminations Tour, and a first-ever “Holiday Arts and Eats” Festival at Assembly Row, sponsored by Federal Realty Investment Trust.

The city’s annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place Thursday, Dec. 5 on the City Hall Concourse, followed by a meet and greet with Santa Claus in the Somerville High School Highlander Café (atrium entrance). On Saturday, Dec. 14, residents and visitors are invited to the Somerville Arts Council’s Illuminations beginning at 4:30pm.  The popular tour takes attendees aboard trolleys across the city to discover some of the most brightly decorated homes throughout the city for the holiday season. Residents interested in having their homes featured on the tour should contact the Somerville Arts Council at 617-625-6600 ext 2985 by Friday, Dec. 6.

The tree lighting ceremony will feature musical entertainment by: The Somerville High School Band and Orchestra; the Somerville Community Chorus; El Sistema Somerville; and grade four students from the Arthur D. Healey Elementary School. Special guest Santa Claus will be escorted by the Somerville Fire Department for the ceremony and will be available for photos following the tree lighting. All children attending the ceremony will also receive a gift from Santa.

The annual Illuminations Trolley Tour of East and Central Somerville is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, with tours departing from the City Hall Concourse beginning at 4:30 p.m. The 45-minute tours will showcase holiday light displays in our own Somerville. Tours leave from (and return to) Somerville City Hall where coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies are served. Entertainment at City Hall includes choral music and craft activities for children.

Trolley Tour tickets will be available at the Blue Cloud Gallery, 713 Broadway, beginning Monday, Dec. 2. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children and seniors. For more information, visit

Adding to the holiday fun in Somerville this year, the City of Somerville will join Federal Realty Investment Trust for its first annual Holiday Arts and Eats Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6, 7, and 8. The festival will feature food trucks, a large holiday market including 60 artists, a 21+ event on Friday night and family-friendly activities and live music all weekend long. It will be hosted under a large heated tent at Assembly Row. For more information and schedules, visit .

For more information on the city’s holiday events, please contact Nancy Aylward at 617-625-6600 ext 2100.


29 Responses to “Somerville’s annual holiday celebrations kick off December 5”

  1. Ron Newman says:

    I appreciate the city’s attempt to be inclusive, but this menorah lighting is scheduled for the first night AFTER Chanukah has ended.

  2. Darnell says:

    The mayor is a secular progressive. A few years ago he called the annual CHRISTMAS party at City Hall a CHRISTMAS party. A day or so later he was worried about politics so he sent out an apology for this and stated that it was a Holiday party.

    It is and always will be Christmas no matter what Curtatone and the secular progressives want us to believe. There is a war on against religion in this country and it is especially aimed at Judaism and Christianity,

    In some communities they no longer refer to EASTER EGGS as EASTER EGGS, They are now called Spring spheres. And this is only the beginning.

    I am a firm beliiever in the separation of Church and State. But I am against the elimination of certain organized religions. And that is what is happening in ouir cpuntry along with other things. God help us all.

  3. Ron Newman says:

    There’s no “war” against anyone — just carelessness on the part of whoever scheduled this event.

  4. Sophie says:

    What they never say is that the ‘holiday’ is Christmas, which is by the way a Federal holiday. I think the elimination of anything spiritual or religious in society, coupled with what comes out of the entertainment industry is destroying the fabric of our country and our families. They wonder why things like ‘the knockout game’ are popular and are considered fun. Young people have no moral compass because they have been taught that everything and anything is allowable and celebrated.

  5. Boston Kate says:

    Ron – I know, you’d think that someone would have actually looked the date of Chanukah this year.

  6. ritepride says:

    Your right Darnell. Remember as the judge said to the Atheist…You have your right to your belief but it is a little ironic that you pay for your purchases/services with money that says “In God We Trust”. Whether they be Politicians or Progressives…they are all just New Wave Communists.

  7. Steve Keenan says:

    It is wonderful that your story used the word “Christmas”. I wish a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year to all at the Somerville News. God bless you all!

  8. Rob says:

    I would rather the City and all levels of government stay out of religious celebrations altogether. These are holy days that should be celebrated, honored, and consecrated by religious communities and organizations–not politicians and bureaucrats.

  9. Jim says:

    The Christmas tree lighting is one of my favorite annual events in Somerville. My children love it and I’m glad this tradition has endured.

    The menorah lighting should be moved up this year since Hanukkah is really, really early this year. Surprised no one looked at a calendar before scheduling it.

    Being inclusive means recognizing and celebrating all religions in our society, not PC exclusion of any particular group.

  10. Amen says:

    Rob gets it. Why does your religious celebration have to be honored by the city? I know it’s a federal holiday. Times have changed, we have many more religions, non-religions everywhere. I don’t have a religion. It annoys me to see the lights and the parties. I celebrate things that are important with my friends and family. I don’t have to have it officially stamped by the city to make it real. These celebrations should be within churches, synagogues, family.

  11. Ron Newman says:

    It annoys you to see lights? At this time of year, when the sun sets at 4:15 pm?

  12. ritepride says:

    Remember to tell your holiday Thanksgiving guests that joe curtatone did everything possible to delay residents holiday with another stupid roadrace and run on a holiday….How about the new BOA get some guts and shut these traffic delay races down…time to let some other city have the inconvenience of running them.

  13. Steve Keenan says:

    Amen to Sophie!! The late radio commentator Paul Harvey in 1965 spoke of what he would do if he wanted to take over this country and destroy it as if he were the devil.

    If you can hear Mr. Harvey’s words you will see that everything he stated is taking place in our country right now. He predicted it to a T!!

  14. Steve Keenan says:

    Let me add that I have faith in our young people. It’s a very small number of people of all ages that are part of the problem.

    I remember many years ago when the late Danny Thomas(a great talent and founder of Saint Jude’s Hospital for Children)was on the Joey Bishop Show. He was talking about his work with our youth on behalf of various charities. He spoke about how in various major cities he was having gatherings of our youth numbering 35,000,50,00 or more.

    He went on to say how not one media outlet covered these youth events. He went on to point out that if a few young people did wrong, the press would swoop down in a second and paint every young person as bad. He closed by saying that America’s youth are “good kids.”

    They were then, and by and large they still are. Look at our young people serving our country in the military. It’s only a few bad apples that
    do wrong.

    Speaking of Saint Jude’s, you can give a great gift to children suffering from cancer. For $19 a month, you can be a supporter of this fine hospital which does not charge for its services to sick children. If you can do this it will give you the best feeling you can ever experience.

    God bless all in Somerville and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  15. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    I am never giving up my Christmas Tree and to hell with anyone who tries to take it away. Other religious organizations have a right to celebrate as they choose, so can all Roman Catholics!

  16. Johnny says:

    Steve, I have heard that commentary several times. It is amazing.

  17. Amen says:

    nobody’s taking away anything from anybody! everybody can celebrate however they choose, correct. it just doesn’t have to be govt. sanctioned and sponsored. try to follow

  18. Ron Newman says:

    Pixie – I don’t see any comment from anyone who wants to remove a Christmas tree from your house or anyone else’s house. Not sure what you are responding to.

  19. Ron,

    It is a known fact there are people who do not want Christmas Trees and Nativity Scenes displayed in public. There were articles on it, mostly opinion pieces out there, maybe it’s no longer being pushed as the next wave of change. I hope that is true. I’m sick and tired of people trying to continually dictate their agenda. Last I checked, this is still the U.S.A., unless I missed that memo.

  20. A,Moore says:

    I see the govenor of RI now changed from saying Holiday tree to Christmas tree this year. If it quacks like a duck……..

  21. Sophie says:

    It’s funny that Nativity scenes have been banned all over the country, yet our Governor lit a Menorah on State House Property. Please don’t tell me that there is not a double standard. And please don’t compare this to any Christmas tree displays on public property (if such exists), a Christmas tree is NOT a religious symbol. A menorah and a nativity scene are.

  22. Rob says:

    Again, I think religious leaders, citizens, and houses of worship should take the lead in honoring religious holidays. I think it demeans our religious traditions when politicians and the government gets involved.

    @Sophie: A Christmas tree, being a *Christmas* tree, is a symbol of the *Christmas* holiday. Like A. Moore says, if it quacks like a duck…

  23. ritepride says:

    Just shows PC really is not Politically Correct…It really is Progessive Communism. You notice none of these PC ers have any problem using U.S. Currency that’s emblazoned with “In GOD We Trust”.

  24. CHRISTmas says:

    wow, a Christmas tree is not a religious symbol? and please don’t review the whole history of it. it’s clearly part of a religion (CHRIST?) and arguing with religious freaks is just a waste of time.

  25. Sophie says:

    Rob, you’re attitude is the problem. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition that are used by many Christians. It is not a religious symbol. A menorah, however, is a religious symbol, comparable to a nativity scene. So when schools and government buildings allow a menorah and not a nativity scene it is discriminatory.

  26. CHRISTmas says:

    not a religious symbol. anyone put one up in the living room in June? No, any non-Christians put one up in December for the fresh green beauty of it? No, it’s on display to celebrate the birth of CHRIST. hence, the name, Christmas tree. you really need a new argument as this one is shredded. A menorah is not the equivalent of nativity scene. wish I had the time to educate you, but you seem immune to that, anyway. here’s my question that nobody addresses: why does the government have to sanction anyone’s holiday celebrations? is there no joy in just celebrating with your loved ones? WHY does it have to be displayed by the government? please don’t give me the menorah equivalent argument–I’m asking this question of all religions. Menorahs were slapped up when people started questioning these displays. Hannukah has no equal balance with Christmas. It is not of the religious import that Christmas is to Christians.

  27. SophieREADmuch? says:

    Sophie–“Christmas tree display on govt. property, if such exists?” always read the article before you start commenting. This is a TREE LIGHTING event on govt. property. They’ve even provided a photo of the tree if reading is an issue. Seriously, get a grip. They’re lighting a tree and you’re complaining there’s no tree.

  28. It's Really About Easter says:

    Actually, CHRISTmas, Easter is much more significant to Christians than Christmas is, so Sophie is correct–the Menorah and Nativty are more comparable than is thought.

    I had a teacher tell me once that we sang Hanukkah songs in our “Winter Concert” because it’s not as major of a holiday to the Jewish fairh…she was speechless when I threw the Easter card at her…my uncle the Priest was proud 😉

  29. SophieREADmuch? says:

    the Easter argument makes no sense at all. that does nothing to connect the issue. give it up, you’re really getting ridiculous

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