New Bedford's annual holiday event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Downtown New Bedford Inc. announced the return of Holiday Stroll on Tuesday, November 16. Here's what to expect from this annual tradition in 2021.

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When Is it Happening?

The Annual Holiday Stroll will be on Saturday, December 4 with events scheduled from 12 noon to 5 pm. There is a rain date of Saturday, December 11.

Photo contributed by Downtown New Bedford Inc.

Who Is Running the Show?

Elissa Paquette, the owner of Calico on Union Street, is also the President of a local non-profit, Downtown New Bedford Inc. She has enlisted the help of NB Creative, the City of New Bedford, and BuyBlackNB to bring this year's event to life and to create an inclusive, friendly environment for all.

Photo contributed by Downtown New Bedford Inc.

What Kind of Christmas Magic Will Come to Life?

Strollers should expect to feel like they just stepped into a Hallmark Christmas movie while walking the historic cobblestone streets of downtown New Bedford. At the Holiday Stroll you’ll find:

  • The Seaglass Theater Company Carolers
  • The Southcoast Brass Band
  • A silent soapbox Winter Fairy
  • Santa Claus, obviously
  • Antique fire truck rides provided by the New Bedford Fire Museum
  • A BuyBlackNB Mini Market in Bristol Hall
  • Cookie decorating and hot chocolate at the New Bedford Harbor Hotel
  • Live dancers from the New Bedford Performing Arts Center on the Whaling
  • Museum plaza
  • Youth arts and crafts at the New Bedford Art Museum
  • Various sales and pop-up shops
  • Food and drink offerings throughout dNB
  • A tree lighting at City Hall on William Street at 5 pm with Mayor Jon Mitchell
Photo contributed by Downtown New Bedford Inc.

Shop Local

Of course, this entire event is meant for visitors to support local businesses at the numerous shops, restaurants, and galleries. Katherine Lowe is the owner of Shimmer Clean & Ethical Beauty on Union Street. She emphasizes why this year means so much to downtown businesses.

"This holiday season is an opportunity for small businesses to try to make up ground after what has been an inordinately difficult time for all,” Lowe said. "We're all coming together to make this our most successful stroll yet."

Local businesses and a cohort of organizations are excited to spread some holiday cheer once again. Get in the holiday spirit and join them at the Annual Holiday Stroll in December.

All The Epic Holiday Light Displays Brightening SouthCoast Businesses and Beyond

It's not just your neighbors decorating for the holidays anymore. Local zoos, theme parks and other big businesses are getting in the holiday light display game as well, and there are some amazing sites to be seen across Massachusetts and Rhode Island this season – some without even getting out of your car.