Franklin Downtown Partnership “Holiday Happenings” – Four Days of Fun

J.D. O’Gara
Franklin Downtown Partnership has switched its holiday event from a one-night stroll to four days of events, but some old favorites will remain the same, such as a kickoff to the holidays with a tree-lighting and carolers at Dean college on Thursday, December 6th. Holiday Happenings will take place from December 6th-9th. Visit
Issue Date: 
December, 2018
Article Body: 

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is extending the holiday fun! Their annual holiday stroll has blossomed into a four-day “Holiday Happenings” event, this year taking place from Thursday, December 6th, until Sunday, December 9th. The event will offer a variety of children and family activities, while affording businesses more opportunities to participate. In addition to new events, the most popular and traditional holiday events will continue to be offered during Holiday Happenings, including the Christmas Tree Lighting, gingerbread cookies at Dean Bank, Santa at Simon’s Furniture, Mrs. Claus at the Franklin Historical Museum, and Touch-a-Truck at the Franklin Fire Department.
Families can enjoy visiting businesses throughout Franklin. Jamie Barrett will be doing a sing-along, there will be plenty of hot cocoa, gift shopping, wine tasting, and opportunities to meet Clara from Nutcracker, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, and everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, Santa Claus. The complete schedule of Holiday Happenings will be posted on the Franklin Downtown Partnership website, and Facebook page.
“Extending from Small Business Saturday through New Year’s Eve, we are focusing on a calendar which will include many offerings at local businesses for residents to enjoy,” says Roberta Trahan, who co-chairs Holiday Happenings with Pandora Carlucci.
FDP President Lisa Piana says the shift to a four-day format falls in line with the growth of the partnership. The partnership began with just 50 members, to 260. That number includes not just businesses right downtown, but businesses branching to the outskirts of town as well as nonprofit groups, such as churches.
Members of the Franklin Downtown Partnership have responded to the change with positive feedback, says Piana. “They’re very thrilled. We’re all about including and partnering and helping everyone grow their business. Since our membership is growing, we need to look at things a little differently. In the past, businesses located outside of town set up their booths on Main Street, and it’s cold.”
Piana says event co-chair Pandora Carlucci came up with the idea to model FDP’s holiday event after Cultural District festivals and Art Week, which spreads events out over a period of a few days.
“It’s exciting to see more than 25 Holiday Happening events taking place throughout the town of Franklin,” says Carlucci. “The new four-day format is focused on providing scheduling flexibility making it possible for more people and businesses to participate.”
“We’re here to promote them,” says Piana, “and the Partnership is saying, go ahead, throw your party, and we will bring the business. If we work as a team, it’s more fun, and residents will say there’s more than one or two reasons to go downtown and come to Franklin.”
Trahan explains the four-day event gives a wider range of Franklin businesses the opportunity to think about “’what am I doing during the holiday season and how can I promote my business, knowing it’s going to be advertised and supported by the Franklin Downtown Partnership?’”
“Our growth, and having these events outside downtown area proper is reflective of the belief that a strong, robust, vital downtown benefits everyone,” says Carlucci.
Piana points out that it’s these businesses that help make these holiday happenings take place.
“People need to remember, these events happen because of our downtown businesses sponsoring these events,” she says. “We love our sponsors. We love our volunteers. We’re a nonprofit organization, but I can’t do what I do without our volunteers and our sponsors.
Gold sponsors for the event are Dean Bank, Dean College and Keefe Insurance.
Silver sponsors are: Berry Insurance, D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, DCU, Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P.C., Fenton Financial Group, Franklin Ford, Franklin Historical Museum and Cultural District, La Cantina Winery, Matt Kelly Homes, and Middlesex Savings Bank.
Bronze sponsors of Holiday Happenings are: Glen Meadow Apartments, Liberty Tax Service, Rescom Exteriors, Simon’s Furniture, Tom Fricker Complete Heating & Cooling, LLC, Vallee’s Jewelers.
“We want people to stay in Franklin and buy their goods and services,” says Piana, who’s excited about a four-day party in Franklin. “Everyone is so busy that (they might miss it) if you say this event is four hours on Thursday. Now, you can say guess what - if you missed it on Thursday, there’s still stuff on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You’re going to do things with your children, but you can also come back and do things with your girlfriends or with your husband.”
Piana encourages people to go to the Franklin Downtown Partnership website,, for a full listing of events as well as an online calendar featuring events taking place throughout the entire holiday season. You can also find Franklin Downtown Partnership on Facebook.