If the holiday season begins with the mayhem of Black Friday, the community celebration begins this week with a tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday at Root Common Park, where Harwood Avenue meets Wauwatosa Avenue.
Coordinated by the Village of Wauwatosa business community and sponsored by WaterStone Bank, the event will include a visit from Santa, who will arrive on a shiny, red Wauwatosa Fire Department engine.
The McKinley School Chorus, a participant for 16 years, will sing, and will be joined by Sophia's Heart Foundation Choir, founded by Danny Gokey, for the second year. Sophia's Heart provides after-school arts programming for at-risk Milwaukee middle and high school students.
Cafe Hollander will provide free hot cocoa at the tree lighting, and horse-drawn wagon rides will course through the Village from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Two wagons will be provided this year to accommodate more riders. A donation of a non-perishable food item for Hunger Task Force is encouraged for the wagon ride.
Businesses pitch in
Several businesses will be open for special activities.
· Paulina Esthetics Boutique, 7601 Harwood Ave., is providing one-on-one time with Mr. and Mrs Claus
· Yo Mama, 1349 Wauwatosa Ave., will have cookie decorating for kids
· AAA Insurance P L Baldwin Agency, 1417 Wauwatosa Ave., will provide hot apple cider, holiday crafts and chances to win prizes, including AAA membership and Wisconsin Badger basketball tickets
· Arte Wine and Painting Studio, 7511 Harwood Ave., will offer live music, drink specials, ornament painting and small canvases for painting
Shops in the Village will be open late on Friday night for holiday shoppers, according to the Village Business Improvement District. Pick up a Village Holiday Boarding Pass, which lists participating businesses where shoppers may enter to win a number of gifts. Visit VillageofWauwatosa.com for complete details.
Holiday drinks, and more
Competing for attention Friday night is the Kneeland-Walker House, home of the Wauwatosa Historical Society, which will be decorated for the holidays and open for Christmas House by Candlelight from 7 to 9 p.m. — an evening of Christmas music, wine, hot-buttered rum and other beverages, along with desserts.
Tickets for Christmas House by Candlelight cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Make reservations by emailing email@example.com or mail checks or cash to the society, 7406 Hillcrest Drive, Wauwatosa, WI 53213.
For information, call (414) 774-8672.
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