It will be a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls and ...

  • “It’s A Wonderful Night” in Turners Falls Contributed photo

  • Stenhouse Furnishings decorated for the holiday season. Contributed photo

  • The “Magic Mailbox” in Turners Falls. Contributed photo

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TURNERS FALLS — There’s a magic mailbox at Spinner Park specifically for messages addressed to the North Pole. And on Friday, St. Nicholas himself will be on hand to collect his mail.

“We encourage children and adults alike to send letters to Santa,” said Suzanne LoManto, director for RiverCulture, an arts and business partnership that is hosting “It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls” Friday and Saturday.

The holiday event, which LoManto estimated has happened annually for the past six years, “is a townwide event aimed at family entertainment and unique holiday shopping.”

In addition to activities, LoManto noted that most businesses will be open — such as LOOT, Mystic Pinball, Stenhouse Furnishings, Honey and Wine, and Nina’s Nook — with many offering special gifts and specials.

The event is a celebration of the village’s economic success. This year, Turners Falls has seen an increase in its downtown economy from “five new businesses, places being renovated. It’s a very exciting place. And this is the capstone event of the year,” LoManto said.

On Friday, activities including live music and performances will be hosted throughout the downtown area. Festivities kick off at 3 p.m. with “Make a Winter Bird Feeder,” designed for children, at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Beginning at 4 p.m. until 8, people can take photographs in front of a green screen at The Brick House on Third Street. Later, winter scenes will be superimposed over the negative space.

At 5 p.m., Designer Gary Fray of Art Groupie Nation will be displaying a fashion design from Ghana at FAB, an ethnic chic fashion art boutique on Second Street.

Elsewhere, free hot herbal tea and gingerbread cookies can be found at Great Falls Yoga until 7 p.m. “Game cards” for a raffle can be picked up at either LOOT or Black Cow Burger Bar. The prize is a $150 certificate that can be spent at 26 participating businesses.

Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m. and pick up letters from the mailbox, created by local artist Jack Nelson, and at 7:30 p.m., Eggtooth Productions will perform “New Vaudeville Holiday Spectacular,” a special holiday play at the Shea Theater Arts Center. Admission to the show is $15, and anyone under 15 years old is free.

So many businesses wanted to participate that LoManto said the holiday event was extended into Saturday.

“Our new partnership with Eggtooth Productions allowed us to access the Shea during the day. We decided to take advantage of the generous opportunity, and have some programming on Saturday, too,” LoManto said.

Happening on day two of “It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls,” children can make bird feeders at Great Falls Discovery Center, and green screen photos will be taken throughout the day. Later in the afternoon, Awesome Art in Motion will perform “an impromptu dance performance followed by a family dance production” on the Shea’s main stage, followed by a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Eggtooth Productions will end the weekend’s festivities with a second performance of “New Vaudeville Holiday Spectacular” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. More information and a full schedule of events can be found at turnersfallsriverculture.org.