Ashten Houseman, downtown events programmer for the Greater Springfield Partnership, which presents Holiday in the City, said the new location was fitting as visitors to the weekly Springfield Farmers Market are already acquainted with it, and it is especially convenient because it is close to the Esplanade, site of the downtown tree and a main hub of activity.
“We’re excited about the move, it was the best place to go for the sense of familiarity,” said Houseman. “It should make a fun trip for families to come down and enjoy along with the lights and other things we have planned.”
The Partnership has already received several calls and emails asking about the return of the ice rink. Work will begin to set it up in the new location next week.
While plenty of the hallmarks of Holiday in the City, which extended from just one day to several weeks beginning in 2020, will return, Houseman said a lot of fresh touches will be added.
Opening night will begin at 4 p.m., with Santa’s arrival and the grand illumination at 6 p.m., and the evening will also include a holiday market for the first time with more food trucks and other special attractions.
This year will feature more spots for selfies, a bigger emphasis on live music and the Courtyard by Marriott will offer an indoor train display.
Another new touch is getting downtown businesses involved with Christmas trees and having the owners decorate them in their own unique ways. This way visitors can shop and take in the creativity as an added attraction.
The popular horse-drawn carriage rides will return Nov. 30 and continue each Thursday evening beginning at 5 p.m.
Holiday in the City activities will run through Jan. 6.
Further details on Holiday in the City activities, including appearances by Santa, will be forthcoming over the next few weeks at www.facebook.com/holidayinthecityspfld/.
“We can’t wait for the people to come downtown, over and over, and enjoy the holidays,” said Houseman.