Yes, Virginia, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Santa Claus will visit Woburn two days after that.
Santa will stop downtown, across from the Common, this coming Saturday afternoon-into-evening, during the 17th annual Festival on the Common.
The festival is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because many people come back to the city for that holiday, according to Gary Fuller, festival chairman.
Elves from the Department of Public Works have already decorated the Common in advance of Santa’s visit. They’ve put up a new figure this year, Fuller said. Have you seen the polar bear?
The festival tradition will continue, he said, with activities from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Alford George will carve designs in ice starting at 3 p.m. There will be hay wagon rides, with a singer on each wagon and a petting zoo. Several groups will sing: Cub Scouts (3:20 to 3:40 p.m.); the Mishawum Choral Choir and Belmont Madrigal Singers (4 to 4:30 p.m.); Girl Scouts (4:30 to 4:50 p.m.); Sweet Adelines (5:20 to 5:30 p.m. and 5:35 to 6 p.m.); and Host Lions Choir (6:05 to 6:20 p.m.). The fire safety house will also be open for visits.
Santa will arrive by fire truck around 3:50 p.m.
At around 5:15, Mayor Scott Galvin will read the traditional “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a mayoral prerogative. The book is already in his office, according to his administrative assistant, Marie Lingblom. Galvin probably doesn’t even have to practice reading it, Lingblom pointed out; he and his wife, Eileen, have four children.
At around 5:30 p.m., with the flip of several switches, holiday lights will bathe the Common.
Radio station Oldies 103 will broadcast from the festival for a couple of hours, Fuller noted.
A number of local civic organizations support the festival, Fuller said, including the Kiwanis, Lions—the Host, Middlesex and Breakfast Clubs—and the Leo Club of baby Lions; and the Rotary, Moose and Elks clubs. Fuller is a member of the local Kiwanis.
Along with all the activity outside, the Woburn Guild of Artists will hold its annual Open Art Exhibit Saturday inside the First Congregational Church from 3 to 7 p.m.
The festival draws between 2,500 and 4,000 people, Fuller said, depending on the weather.