Residents can help ring in the holiday season at the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce’s 20th annual Holiday Lighting Festival on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the center of town. The event will feature continuous live entertainment and a performance at 3:30 p.m. by “Wacky Chad” from “America’s Got Talent.” From 3 to 5 p.m. there will be pony rides, and in French Square, free photos with Santa. The traditional children’s hat contest will be held at 4 p.m., and a children’s dance competition at 5 p.m. The highlight of the festival will be the arrival of Santa at 5:30 p.m. on a fire engine in a procession led by Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts that culminates with the tree lighting. Throughout the event, members of the Winthrop Rotary Club will be supplying free hot popcorn, and WCAT will be making cotton candy. The festival is sponsored by the Massachusetts Port Authority.
- John Laidler