From Norwich, NY to Norwich, UK

Brian Golden

A couple of days ago I received an interesting e-mail from, of all places, England, and fellow journalist David Blackmore. It seems Mr. Blackmore, in his duties for the Eastern Daily Press – its headquarters are located in another Norwich, over 3,000 miles away across the Atlantic Ocean – was working on a Christmas feature focused on the holidays, and what they’re like, at the various other locations known as Norwich across the globe.

At first I thought I was pretty special and I made a point to mention it to Jeff, thinking it would be fun to send some photos of our tastefully decorated downtown and a brief little write-up on the holiday season in good old Norwich, NY.

It turns out that everyone here at The Evening Sun had received the very same e-mail and my hopes were dashed, until, that is, my kind and caring co-worker Melissa Stagnaro, whose knowledge of the United Kingdom far outweighs my own, graciously told me that, since I was so excited about the prospect, I could have it.

I spent a portion of Wednesday afternoon and evening trekking up and down the streets of our downtown business district, snapping shots of the above-mentioned holiday decorations adorning our fair city. And while I’m certainly no Frank Speziale, I was quite pleased with the results. I sent the photos out this morning following deadline, as well as a brief description of the Christmas season here in Norwich, which I’ve included below for those interested.

Christmas in Norwich, NY is a truly special time for our small, close-knit city of approximately 7,000. The holiday season kicks-off every year with the eagerly anticipated “Parade of Lights,” which features dozens of Christmas-themed floats and thousands typically flock to North and South Broad Street for this wonderful event. The snow-covered trees, sometimes bitter chill in the air and tastefully decorated businesses, residences, churches and other structures which make up our city reflect that traditional Christmas vibe associated with small-town America. The holiday decorations of East and West Parks shine brightly during the evening hours, as holiday shoppers make their way up and down the streets of our downtown business district. The yearly Tree Lighting Ceremony, which features an inspiring performance by the students of the Perry Browne Elementary School is a favorite for city residents, and there’s a genuine feeling of brotherly love and goodwill toward men as citizens and neighbors of all ages greet one another with well-wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Local children, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, have an opportunity to visit with Santa in his East Park Igloo to tell him if they’ve been naughty or nice, and parents have a chance to take one of those priceless photos which so perfectly capture the holiday spirit. It truly is a picturesque setting here in Norwich, NY and, even after 33 years (I was born and raised here), it never ceases to amaze me.

Merry Christmas to our fellow Norwichians in the United Kingdom!