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Holiday festivals will light up Norwood, West Potsdam

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NORWOOD — Lights, horse-drawn wagons, Disney characters and Santa will parade down Main Street at 5 p.m. Saturday and end up in the Village Park to light the annual memory tree during the sixth annual holiday festival.

The festivities are made possible by the Norwood Business Alliance, with the Hometown Cafe, 3 Main St., doing much of the footwork and organizing, according to cafe employee Bobbi J. Phillips, Norwood.

She said she and several others from village businesses have been volunteering since the first year the village had a festival.

“Because Christmas is so commercialized, businesses just wanted to have a free event to give back to the community,” Ms. Phillips said. “Everyone gets together and pitches in.”

She said businesses donate gift certificates and prizes and also provide hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for people to enjoy.

Ms. Phillips said a special prize will be given to the best decorated house in the village.

There will be a bonfire, live music and prize drawings throughout the night.

“It draws people from all over the county, and it puts people in the Christmas spirit,” Mayor James H. McFaddin said. “It lets us coin the phrase ‘Norwood is a great place to live and raise a family.’”

People can pay $1 to have the names of deceased loved ones read, and lights put on the memory tree in dedication to them.

West Potsdam

Neighboring West Potsdam also will be putting up its memory tree over the weekend, across the street from the fire department, continuing a tradition held since 2007.

The tree lighting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at county routes 35 and 34, the property of Dave Sandburg.

For any size donation, people can have any number of names of their dead loved ones read during the ceremony.

Scott E. Niles, secretary of the West Potsdam Fire Department, said after the tree is lit, everyone is welcome to come to the fire station, 801 County Route 34, where the names will be read in warmth.

“The weather has not been too cooperative the last few years,” he said. “The first year it was five below, and we’ve had snow and rain, too.”

Mr. Niles said a memorial stone that people donated money toward and installed over the summer will sit in front of the tree this year.

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