EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week

We liked this week

When the countdown at Meriden’s Hubbard Park got down to “one” Tuesday night, 8-year-old Josiah Bourdon and his brother Benjamin, 5, heeded Mayor Kevin Scarpati's instructions: “Push the button.” With that, some 350,000 white lights lit up across the park, many of them strung around trees, bushes, fences, and showing off bright shapes of animals, birds, and other creatures and objects. The Festival of Silver Lights was underway for the 33rd year.

The city plans to pay a company $23,000 to repair damaged graves, gravestones, and memorials at historic East Cemetery. City Manager Tim Coon requested the funding after hiring a firm earlier this year to examine issues associated with the cemetery, which is owned by the city and located just off Parker Avenue.

For hundreds of people, the Franciscan Life Center’s annual Christmas Fair, held last weekend, has become an important part of their family’s holiday traditions. The fair is one of the organization’s major fundraisers, supporting the order’s counseling and clinical services, and its hospice home care.

Hundreds of runners splashed through puddles for the Kiwanis Turkey Trot in Wallingford Sunday morning, even though the weather was more suited to ducks than turkeys. The rain started pouring minutes after Mayor William Dickinson Jr.’s bugle commenced the race.

A 1920s-themed bar and restaurant opened on Eden Avenue in Southington last weekend, offering classic drinks, servers in period attire and full Prohibition-era décor. Owners of The Manhattan at 16 Eden Ave. have been outfitting the business since the summer.

Wallingford residents and visitors can look forward to roasted chestnuts, bonfires and store discounts as just a few of the perks during the 11th annual Downtown Wallingford Holiday Stroll. Residents are encouraged to “Stroll, Shop, Win” by visiting and supporting local businesses, and entering raffles. The event, which begins at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6, is sponsored by Wallingford Center Inc. and the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Meriden Historical Society hopes to drum up interest in local history with a Christmas exhibit at Andrews Homestead. For only the second time in 40 years, the historical society is decorating its Andrews Homestead Museum on West Main Street to give visitors a glimpse of what Christmas in Meriden looked like in past decades.

Meriden Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Lawrence McGoldrick will retire from his post in January. After a two-month search, the club’s Board of Directors selected City Councilor Larue Graham to run the club, which services 1,300 boys and girls in the city. 

Students at Wallingford’s E.C. Stevens School huddled together in the school gym recently, excitedly anticipating a visit with a robot. The small iPal robot is part of a new pilot program at the elementary school using technology from Movia Robotics, a company based in Bristol. The robotics program is designed to help students with autism learn about social interaction.

With the start of the holiday season, local nonprofit organizations are holding collections and drives to help those in need.


The Salvation Army is holding its annual holiday toy drive for toys appropriate for ages newborn to 12 years old. Non-perishable food items and warm clothing are always accepted. 

The Meriden Humane Society has partnered with the Savers store to accept gently used clothing, accessories, books and small household items. Money raised will go to the humane society’s ongoing spay and neuter program.


The Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club is collecting duffel bags and items for foster children through the state Department of Children and Families. The bags will be collected and filled before Christmas.


Southington Community Services will be accepting donations of nonperishable food, warm clothing, and holiday gifts. Residents can also adopt a family to support by donating items on a wish list submitted by individuals and families in need. Southington Community Services will also distribute donations from The Fill a Purse With Purpose campaign, which will be accepting bags and supplies for homeless women.