Each Thanksgiving weekend, the town of Simsbury is transformed into a magical winter wonderland for Simsbury Celebrates! The free entertainment extravaganza filled with family-friendly fun has become the region’s largest holiday event attracting 12,000 visitors. Now in its 18th year, a dedicated committee of volunteers is asking for community support to ensure that the beloved tradition continues. 

“Many people don’t realize that a town wide event of this magnitude is funded by donations,” said Tara Willerup, Chairperson of Simsbury Celebrates Committee. “We love that this celebration holds such a special celebratory feeling for so many people and we appreciate everyone’s help to make it even better.”

Although the Simsbury Recreation Department supports the event and assists with the event production, all funds to support the event are raised through generous financial donations from local businesses, families and civic groups and run by volunteers. The group is grateful to receive another $5,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Richard P. Garmany fund on behalf of the Simsbury Main Street Partnership and a $3,000 donation from Fitzgerald’s Foods, however this year’s fundraising goal is $20,000 and the organization is still in need of donations.

Willerup notes that the event committee is well represented with a number of prominent community groups taking a leadership role in the coordination of the event, including the Simsbury Free Library, Simsbury Junior Woman’s Club, the Simsbury Parks and Recreation Department, the Simsbury Performing Arts Center, Simsbury Main Street Partnership, Simsbury Public Library and many other involved citizens.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 5:00-8:30 p.m., featuring music, performances, the signature Ginger Bread House Contest with fabulous prizes, and food vendors, capped off by a spectacular fireworks display and Holiday Sing-along at the Simsbury Performing Arts Center. The highlight of the event is the lighted Fire Truck Parade with Santa, and this year promises to be extra special as the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company marks its 75th anniversary.

“It is only because of individual donations and corporate generosity that we have been able to delight Simsbury residents and many others from the entire Farmington Valley, young and old alike, for all of these years, “ said Willerup. “No amount is too little. Every donation, big or small, matters to the families who attend.”

Individuals, families and small businesses may make personal contributions of $20.19 (for the 2019 event), $25, $50, $100 or $150. Donations can be made online at www.simsburycelebrates.com. Checks can be mailed to: Simsbury Celebrates 2018, 933 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT 06070.  Sponsorship levels range from Bronze at $150 to Platinum of $2,000 plus. Thus far, 2019 Platinum Presenting Sponsors are Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department, Show Lighting, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Richard P. Garmany Fund on Behalf of Simsbury Main Street Partnership and Fitzgerald’s Food.  

Simsbury Celebrates! is based on a wonderful event that was run by the Simsbury Arts Council called “Opening Night”. In 2002, the Simsbury Culture, Parks, and Recreation Dept, alongside a small but dedicated group of volunteers, decided to bring the event back and renamed it “Simsbury Celebrates.”  The event  has even more free family-friendly entertainment  such as the Simsbury Spinners and ACRO Fitness performances, Selfies with Santa, Eight Nights of Fun crafts with the Mandell Jewish Community Center and Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation are just a few features before the Firetruck Parade followed by the popular fireworks show.   

Since 2001, Simsbury Celebrates! has been a free community holiday celebration organized by the all-volunteer Simsbury Celebrates Committee. The nonprofit event is traditionally held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in and on Hopmeadow Street right in the center of the town of Simsbury, CT. Please visit www.simsburycelebrates.com, email simscelebrates@gmail.com or call 860-658-3836 with any questions regarding sponsorship or donations, or if you would be interested in volunteering for the Simsbury Celebrates 2019 committee. Also, please “Like” us on Facebook to get our latest news!

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