Update: The Christmas Parade and Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony scheduled for December 3rd, has been moved to December 10th because of inclement weather forecast for the 3rd. The Clasky Common Park Lighting Ceremony will take place as scheduled on Sunday, December 5th at 5pm. 

The United Way of Greater New Bedford is asking the public to donate new, unwrapped toys, for its 24th annual toy drive. The agency is teaming with the New Bedford Fire Department to collect and distribute the toys.

The United Way's Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement Victoria Grasela stopped by Townsquare Sunday this week to talk about the toy drive. She was joined by Amy Desrosiers of the City of New Bedford Tourism and Marketing Department to preview the downtown tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3, and the lighting of the Clasky Common Park on December 4.

Grasela said the toy drive will continue thru December 14.

"We're looking for board games, dolls, action figures, you name it, that's what we're looking for," she said.

Grasela added that they're looking for toys for children of all ages, from newborns to teens. New and unwrapped toys can be brought to any New Bedford fire station, where firefighters will help with the distribution to families.

You can also check out the Amazon Wish List on the United Way website. Toys purchased there will be shipped directly to the United Way.

Greg Desrosiers/TSM
Greg Desrosiers/TSM

Amy Desrosiers is the City of New Bedford's Marketing Director. She said the tree lighting ceremony downtown, and everything that goes with it, will be very festive this year.

The fun starts Saturday, Dec. 3 with the Holiday Stroll sponsored by DNB Inc., followed by a Christmas parade that will travel up William Street to the downtown library. It will feature Miss New Bedford, marching bands and community groups, and of course, an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The tree lighting will happen just after 5 p.m., with Mayor Jon Mitchell flipping the switch, more singing and hot chocolate.

The fun will continue on Sunday December 4 with the holiday lighting at Clasky Common Park, starting at 5 p.m. The program will also feature Santa, Miss New Bedford, Mayor Mitchell, and the Parker School Chorus. Grasela and Desrosiers added that toy collections for the United Way will also take at both lighting ceremonies.

The complete interview with Grasela and Desrosiers can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program, heard Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program spotlights individuals and organizations working to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

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