Old Town Square is a popular venue for concerts in the summer. “So we decided: How about if we have a concert for Christmas?” said Desiree Kelsch, one of the square’s organizers.
That was the springboard for what is being styled a sort of hipster kick-off to the holidays this year at the square at Second and Mead streets. In addition to having a concert by the Haymakers on the outdoor stage, Old Town will offer a sampler of local holiday stage shows including the Crown Uptown’s “White Christmas.”
“The only thing that’s really the same is we’re going to have the carriage rides that we have every year,” Kelsch said of the next several Saturdays at Old Town, which are being billed as an Affair in the Square. “Basically we decided to kick off the holiday season with one big event, and then we will have several smaller events.”
The big Affair in the Square, at Second and Mead streets, will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. “We were trying to get fun things that maybe were a little bit different, with a little bit of a flair,” Kelsch said. “We’re trying to go for the hipster Christmas thing.” That translates into a photo booth instead of photos with Santa, for example.
But the event is family-oriented as well. Free carriage rides will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. CityArts will have an open house that day, from 1 to 4 p.m., and it will include a free make-it-take-it ornament craft for children, as well as demos of all winter classes in the classrooms, and shopping at a completely revamped boutique.
Back outdoors on the stage, Music Theatre for Young People will perform musical numbers from their shows “Peter Pan” and “Seussical” (1 p.m.), Mosley Street Melodrama will sample skits and songs from its Holiday Revue show (2 p.m.), Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre will give a taste of “White Christmas” (3 p.m.), and the Haymakers will perform country, folk and bluegrass in the concert from 4 to 6 p.m.
Old Town Square merchants will have a drawing for gift certificates.
The Affair in the Square will continue each Saturday through Dec. 21 with free carriage rides from noon to 4 p.m. The Warren Theatre Old Town will show free holiday movies at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 and 14.
On the east side of town, Bradley Fair also will be kicking off the holidays Saturday. The Christmas tree lighting will be from 5:30 to 6 p.m., and there will be photos with Santa, along with free horse-drawn carriage rides from 6 to 10 p.m. The free carriage rides will continue Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 21 from 6 to 10 p.m.