Lights, cocoa, and dancing at annual Padanaram Christmas festival

Dec 7, 2019

Despite a chilly winter rain, Padanaram was crowded with festival-goers at the annual Christmas event on Friday night as businesses and restaurants all over the village opened their doors to shoppers and guests.

Children stood in line to see Santa, listened to stories told by the Grinch, did crafts at Santa’s workshop, and watched dancers in the streets -- all while sipping cocoa and eating popcorn provided by various members of the Padanaram Business Association.

Six-year-old Shane King of Dartmouth was waiting in line with his parents to see Santa. He planned on asking Santa for a Supermario Smash Brothers game for Christmas.

“We’re gonna watch a Christmas movie tonight,” he said, jumping with excitement.

Leland Hathaway, 5, of New Bedford came to see Santa with his grandparents. He was holding a candy cane given to him by Santa and Mrs. Claus after he asked them for a Nintendo Switch, among other gifts. 

Hathaway said he was enjoying the festival. “I was trying to cheer the Grinch up,” he said. “I couldn’t find him.”

Milbury real estate broker Maggie Tomkiewicz was handing out popcorn and cookies to kids from the company’s office on the corner of Bridge and Elm streets.

She’s been participating in the festival for the past 28 years.

“It’s a wonderful community gathering,” she said. “It’s great. People come out from all over, and it’s just a fun time.”

“I love the lights,” she added. “The lights, and the way that the village -- it just sparkles. I love it.”