Come on and take a free ride. Soon it will be holiday trolley time in Northborough, where townies and beyond have a chance to ride around the town for free and shop the local stores, which is not only important to the merchants, but to the local economy.
Patti Murphy, owner of Vicki Martelli, owner of the and a former owner of Curves started the original holiday trolley in 2005 as a way to bring unity to the town—a town that isn't easy to stroll around by foot.
Kimberly Reed, manager of the Purple Rose and "trolley master" of the event, said it's important to support efforts such as Small Business Saturday and the holiday trolley because the effects are cyclical.
"It's why I love organizations like the 3/50 Project and Small Business Saturday," said Reed. "For every $100 spent in a local/brick and mortar store, $68 goes back to the community in payroll, taxes, etc. If spent at a big box or chain $43 goes back to community, and if spent online, $0 goes back. Small businesses help communities grow by providing jobs, charitable donations, and volunteer work. I think everyone should be aware of these statistics, especially in this economic downturn, so they may think twice about where they do their holiday shopping. We don't ask you do all your shopping with us, but a little goes a long way."
For the seventh year, on Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon to 6 p.m., the holiday trolley chugs up and down Main Street and stops at participating retailers, restaurants and local businesses in town, giving residents and visitors a chance to shop, mingle and get a taste of Northborough all in one day.
Carolers ride the trolley as well, often singing groups from local churches and schools, and refreshments are available at many of the stops. Depending on the stop, visitors could run into Santa, enjoy cupcake samples, enjoy a performance, or just some great deals on local items.
Reed said it is tough for organizers to gauge attendance, since it is a free event, but it is apparent that the event has grown every year. The trolley, she said, was packed full most of the day last year.
The trolley stops running at 6 p.m., at the town center, for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The Community Affairs Committee organizes a holiday concert, and hands out hot chocolate and cookies.
The annual tree lighting began in 1968 in honor of the memory of Neil Ellsworth, an Army private first class who was killed in Vietnam in 1967 at the age of 19. Born and raised in Northborough, Ellsworth was the first town resident to die in the Vietnam War. The Ellsworth family is honored every year by the naming of the tree in Neil’s honor.
Trolley stops include:, , , and
Riders can pick up the trolley at any stop during the day, and the stops are identified by a large banner saying Holiday Trolley Stop with a facebook logo. Patrons can like the trolley Facebook page as well for updates.
Anyone wishing to sponsor the event should contact Reed at email@example.com.