Changes Coming to Haverhill’s Christmas Stroll—Starting With the Tree!

Haverhill Christmas tree during the 2017 season.

The annual Haverhill Christmas Stroll is planned for Friday, Dec. 7 from 5-8 p.m. (WHAV News file photograph)

Haverhill’s downtown Christmas Stroll is happening on a Friday night for the first time in seven years—but that isn’t the only change associated with this year’s festival.

Ahead of the Dec. 7 event, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Events Director Melissa Seavey tells WHAV that while events will happen along Merrimack, Washington and Wingate Streets, traffic is only being diverted in the immediate area surrounding Washington Square. As a result, a handful of gathering spaces are being mapped out in key locations like the Goecke parking deck.

Festive fun is planned in and around Harbor Place, with Pentucket Bank’s Santa’s Village available as a warming station. A hot cocoa and s’mores bar is being set up in the pedestrian plaza adjacent to the parking deck, Seavey said Servpro has free cups of cocoa available near Washington Square in the time leading up to the 7:30 p.m. tree lighting. A Haverhill Bank trolley is available to take patrons from Harbor Place to the tree lighting.

A 20-foot spruce donated by a Haverhill family that lives near Winnekenni helps add to the holiday cheer and will be lit during a ceremony with Mayor James J. Fiorentini. Phoenix Rising Pastor Donna Spencer Collins—known affectionately as “Mama Dee”—plans to sing holiday tunes as a lead-in to a visit from Santa himself.

Adapting to a new downtown landscape has proved a challenge for the Chamber, but Seavey looks forward to the big changes coming to Haverhill’s business district.

“One of our committee members had pointed out that a year from now, the landscape is going to look very different and it’ll be exciting to see Christmas with all of the new buildings and construction that we have going on,” Seavey told City Councilors at Tuesday’s meeting.

To keep things as festive as possible, Seavey has enlisted members of the Greater Haverhill Boys & Girls Club to help decorate the available Washington Square area. The Chamber is also offering city residents and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a lamppost wreath to be unveiled at the Stroll.