During the first weekend in December, Downtown New Bedford will be bustling with holiday spirit, shoppers, families and festive activities. On Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th from Downtown New Bedford Inc., will present the Annual Downtown New Bedford Holiday Stroll. Artisans, crafters, restaurants, specialty shops and boutiques will come together to create a unique holiday shopping experience. The two-day event is organized by Downtown New Bedford Inc., and aims to encourage holiday shoppers to buy local.

Saturday, December 5th 12:30-4 pm and Sunday, December 6th from noon to 4 p.m. And keep in mind, free parking for two hours at both downtown garages and at meters.

On Saturday, in front of the main library, join Mayor John Mitchell, New Bedford City Councillors will welcome Santa and Mrs. Clause who will lead a parade up William Street to the main library. The parade features the award-winning New Bedford High School Marching Band and All-City Middle School Marching Band and Color Guard. At 5 pm, Mayor Mitchell will welcome all for the City's official Tree Lighting ceremony. This event will include live entertainment and a vocal performance by special guest, Samantha Johnson.

On Sunday, at Clasky Common Park at County and Pope Streets, join the countdown celebration displays of lights. Parker Elementary School chorus will perform and Santa is expected to join the celebration.