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Chamber of Commerce rings in Christmas season

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MASSENA - The Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce is ringing in the holiday season with a number of Christmas events this weekend. The chamber will hold a tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Veteran’s Park, followed by caroling through downtown and a concert from 6 to 8 p.m. in the new chamber office at 16 Church St.

Also, Santa Claus will visit the Massena Community Center at 61 Beach St. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Michael Gleason, executive director of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, said the community center allows more capacity than the previous location, the Quality Inn. He expects between 250 and 300 children to visit with Santa.

“We want to keep the tradition alive here in Massena,” Mr. Gleason said.

He also encouraged people to check out the chamber’s new home during the Friday night concert.

“This is the first time we’ve done a concert at our location on Church Street,” he said. “(The building) is in great shape. We’ve got it all fixed up and decorated for the holidays.”

Music will be provided by Ben Todd of the local rock band Six Foot Midget, and guests. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children ages five to 18 and free for children five and under. All proceeds will go toward helping the chamber cover costs it incurred from the move to its new building.

“It’s going to be a great show,” Mr. Gleason said. “Ben always puts on a good show. He’s a great performer and a great showman.”

A number of local shops are having sales this weekend, hoping to capitalize on the holiday season and the crowds that will be in the downtown area.

“We’ll be open and will be enjoying local shoppers,” according to Jackie Sheehan, co-owner of Phil and Jackie’s gift shop. “I think anything the chamber does to push people to shop local is good for us.”

Mr. Gleason expressed some concerns about forecasted cold temperatures Friday night, but hopes crowds will bear the cold to enjoy holiday festivities. At least the snow, he added, will contribute to the holiday festivities.

“It’ll definitely add to the aptmosphere and holiday spirit when there’s snow on the ground,” he said.

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