2020 Events Announcement

August 14, 2020

The Billerica Holiday Festival is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide free, family events and to provide for the lighting and decorating of the Common during the winter holiday season. We take no money from the Town budget to achieve these efforts. All of our money comes from various fundraising, sponsorship, and donation support from over 250 individuals, local businesses, and organizations, not to mention the thousands of people who purchase Raffle Tickets at the Billerica Public Library for a chance to win one of the fantastic Display & Raffle items adorning the Library.

It is with great thought, a considerable amount of discussion, and with extremely heavy hearts that we have made the unanimous decision to cancel all of our 2020 in-person Holiday events. The long lead time needed to plan and execute our events necessitates us making this announcement at this time. While our in-person events will not be happening, we will still be moving forward with the “lighting of the Common” but without the Annual Tree Lighting event. This is where you come in!

Beginning today, the Billerica Holiday Festival Board of Directors is announcing our Light the Common Campaign with the hopes of raising enough money, solely via monetary donations, to allow us to fund the lighting of the Common. We have set a goal of raising $15,000 by October 31, 2020 to partially light the Common. This is only a fraction of what we normally raise and spend. But it is our goal to bring as much holiday cheer as we possibly can. Once our deadline passes, we will take assessment of our financial situation and in consultation with our dedicated partners at IBEW Local 103 and Gaston Electric, to light and decorate as much of the Common as we can. We ask, if you are able, to go https://tinyurl.com/bhf2020 to contribute any amount that you can. You can also mail a contribution to PO Box 929, Billerica, MA 01821.

It is a monumental effort to plan, arrange, coordinate, and execute our four in-person events each year: our Holiday Reception; The Home for the Holidays Display & Raffle; our Winter Festival & Annual Tree Lighting; and our Free Pictures with Santa event. Our 21-member Board of Directors begins the planning for our yearly, in-person events in January each year and preparations span the entire year. As we always say: you may not be thinking about Christmas in March, but we are!

Our in-person events are predicated on social gatherings, large and small: our Holiday Reception and Display & Raffle event takes place at the Library; our Winter Festival & Annual Tree Lighting is a large outdoor gathering which, weather permitting, can have upwards of 2,500-plus people all gathered for the event; and our Free Pictures with Santa packs many young families in to the small space at the beautiful Bennett Public Library Association building. Keeping physical distance at these events just isn’t possible.

We would be remiss if we didn’t extend our utmost and sincere thanks and appreciation to Lou Antonellis and all of the leadership of IBEW Local 103; to John Buckley and all of the leadership of Gaston Electric for their continued partnership; and to the administration, staff, and students at Shawsheen Tech for their valuable contribution each year. Their extreme generosity in these times will help us give you the best lighting display possible.

We are immensely disappointed that we must take this pause of our in-person events this year. Our entire and sole focus in 2020 from here on will be to raise enough money to light as much of the Common as we can. We don’t know what the world is going to look like come November/December of this year. It is our hope that our lighting of the Common provides some small consolation, comfort, and normalcy during the holidays this year.

We look forward to returning bigger, better, and stronger for our 2021 season. Until then, if you are able to, we ask that you help us make 2020 the best it can be!

The 21 Directors of the Billerica Holiday Festival

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