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[Updated] Guide to the West Hartford Holiday Stroll

2014 West Hartford Holiday Stroll. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

[Updated] An Amazing list of prizes has been announced for the ‘Great West Hartford Center Elf Hunt’

What's this elf all about? Keep reading to find out! Photo by Tom Hickey

This elf is part of the ‘Great West Hartford Center Elf Hunt.’ Photo by Tom Hickey

You still have time to play, and enter to win a chance at winning something from a very impressive list of prizes, donated by participating businesses from the Center. If you haven’t started your elf hunt yet, please download and print the ballot here on page 3, so that you can complete it (on paper), and deliver it to the Holiday Stroll on Thursday night before 7:30 p.m.


Drop your completed ballots at the Showmobile (Intersection of Farmington & LaSalle Road) before 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, and be present at 8 p.m. to listen for your name to be called to win one of these great prizes:

(5) $100 gift certificates from Center Framing & Art and a framed yoga print

6″ Simon Pearce Crackle Christmas Tree ($105) Lux, Bond & Green

(2) $100 gift certificates from DeRobertis Jewelers

Piggy bank and Paint Time at Claypen

Mug, Hot Chocolate and Recipes from Penzeys Spice

$150 certificate from Central Optica

$100 gift certificate and Pandora Bracelet and Charm from BK&CO

4×6 Area Rug from Kaoud Oriental Rugs

Runners’ Gift Pack (training program and backpack) from Fleet Feet Sports

Jute tote bag w/hand crafted holiday ornaments ($50 value) from Ten Thousand Villages

$100 Gift Certificate, good thru 6/1/16, from Iris Photography

Set of 4 Annie Glass dessert dishes (value $268) from L.C.R.


Original story

There’s no place like West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square on Holiday Stroll night, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015.

2014 West Hartford Holiday Stroll. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

2014 West Hartford Holiday Stroll. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo)

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square turn up the Currier & Ives image to high on Holiday Stroll night, and the 2015 Stroll, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3, will definitely not disappoint.

This year’s event, held snow (or rain) or [moon] shine, features a diverse assortment of entertaining activities and promotions for people of all ages, religions, and activity levels. There will be caroling, gingerbread house making, musical and theatrical performances, horsedrawn carriage rides, and a fitness frolic.

The young can also enjoy visits with Santa – actually a choice of two “Santas” – in front of Toy Chest and in Blue Back Square. We hear Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with an elf assistant, will arrive by fire truck and will treat visitors to cookies and other baked goods.

The Great West Hartford Elf Contest, which began on Small Business Saturday, will culminate with the drawing for prizes valued up to $2,500 at 8 p.m. at the Showmobile, aka Stroll HQ, located at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road. The more elves you have found, the better the prize you will be eligible to receive. Check out last Monday’s Business Buzz for a list of elf hideouts. You can pick up ballots for the contest at participating merchants, or click here to print one out in advance.

During the stroll there will also be big red fire trucks on display. Congregation Beth Israel will be handing out chocolate Hanukkah gelt and dreidels, and strollers can toast their own marshmallows over the bonfire on the “Upper Ave” part of the Center. First Church will feature West Hartford’s own “Festival of Trees.”

Below is the complete schedule, and check back often for updates. You can also click directly on the “Holiday Stroll” tile on the top of the page for a complete schedule.

Entertainment Schedule for the Showmobile (intersection of Farmington and LaSalle and Stage in Blue Back Square:

  • 5:30-6, SHOWMOBILE: Singing Scorpions, Solomon Schechter Day School
  • 6-6:30, STAGE: BeS#arp, Conardʼs Accapella group
  • 6:00-6:30, SHOWMOBILE: The Sound of New England Chorus.
  • 6:30-7, STAGE: The Singing Scorpions- Solomon Schechter Day School
  • 6:30-7:00, SHOWMOBILE: The Nutcracker, Hartt School of Dance
  • 7-7:30, SHOWMOBILE: HaZamir Hartford, International Jewish HS Chorus
  • 7-7:30, STAGE: The Holly Jollies
  • 7:30-8, SHOWMOBILE: BeS#arp, Conardʼs Accapella group
  • 7:30-8, STAGE: West Hartford Womenʼs Chorale
  • 8-8:30, SHOWMOBILE: Great West Hartford Elf Hunt contest winners drawn live! Make sure your entries are in!


Every store will be open during the stroll, and here are some of the highlights you can expect.

ARMENY CUSTOM JEWELRY DESIGN will offer refreshments, eggnog and cookies.

BK&CO: Feel like a kid again and sit in our oversized chair! Great photo spot, Rob The Balloon Guy, schnopping (holiday shopping + schnapps tasting)

BRIDGEWATER CHOCOLATES: Sample our delicious chocolate

CENTRAL OPTICA: Free candy canes

COLDWELL BANKER: Famous cookie giveaway

COOKSHOP PLUS: Conard Jazz Combo will perform

DeROBERTIS JEWELERS: Sheri Dori Designer Jewelry Trunk Show; refreshments.

ENGEL & VOELKERS: Free warm doughnuts, YUM!

FARMINGTON BANK: Ballet Theater Company will perform in the window

FIRST CHURCH: West Hartford Festival of Trees

FLEET FEET: Family Frolicking Fitness Fun with Saucony. Pick up a passport to jingle your way through the Stroll and complete various fitness challenges beginning with Saucony’s “Life on the Run” launch at 5 p.m. There will also be raffles and sleighs full of holiday fun. Marshmallow toasting and hot chocolate (we hear that spiking is permitted!) will top off the evening.

IRIS PHOTOGRAPHY: Holiday photo booth

KAOUD ORIENTAL RUGS: Live Animals from The New Children’s Museum

KIMBERLY BOUTIQUE: Popcorn freshly popped outside

LABRAZEL HOME: Eggnog & cookies

LA PETITE FRANCE: Crepe cart: nutella, butter and sugar, chocolate $4; Yule log tasting, 5-minute psychic reading with renowned medium.

LUX, BOND & GREEN: Apple cider, doughnuts, enter to win free drawings

PENZEYS SPICES: Free ½ cup jar of Penzeys cinnamon

PHILIP DAVID JEWELERS: cookies, smiles and great jewelry

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES: Fair Trade hot chocolate

TOAST WINE & SPIRITS: Wine tasting

UPPER AVE. (1000 Farmington Ave.): Toast marshmallows over the bonfire and Whole Foods hot chocolate!

VILLAGE VITALITY: Hot tea and candycanes.

Especially at Blue Back Square

The most wonderful time of the year begins at 5:30 p.m.! The Blue Back Square tree will be officially lit and restaurants and retailers will have special treats for all to enjoy. Hartford Stage Co. will also be onsite providing information on how to buy tickets to see the Charles Dickens’ heart-warming classic, A Christmas Carol,  playing through Dec. 27 at Hartford Stage.

Hartford Area’s Habitat for Humanity will host the 5th Annual Gingerbread Build at Blue Back Square beginning at 5:30 p.m.! The Gingerbread Build, which runs through Dec. 6 in the former Umi Sushi space across from Cheesecake Factory, is a fundraiser for the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build program. Guests can build gingerbread houses, enjoy a silent auction or participate in kids crafts and decorating demonstrations.

And there’s more …

The Friends of the West Hartford Public Library will host a mini book and bake sale on from 5:30-8 p.m.  Stop by the library for a sweet treat and browse the wonderful collection of books available at really great prices. The sale will be held in the library meeting room adjacent to the children’s department.

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