The Hippo


May 30, 2020








The illuminated path at Lights on the Hill. Courtesy photo.

Lights on the Hill 

When: Saturday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 8 p.m. 
Where: Candia Congregational Church (1 South Road) and select buildings between the corner of High Street and South Road. There will be marked parking areas near the church as well as additional parking at Smyth Public Library (55 High St.)
Cost: Free admission 

Lighting the way
Candia event offers a mile of holiday fun

By Angie Sykeny

 Let the lights be your guide to Christmas fun and festivities at the Lights on the Hill event, presented by Candia Congregational Church on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 8 p.m. A path illuminated by hundreds of luminaries will lead visitors to 10 different sites, each with an activity, exhibit or performance.

The church hosted the first Lights on the Hill in 1997 as a way to share its ministry and celebrate the holidays with family, friends and the community.
“Christmas can be filled with materialistic noise, shopping malls and crowds,” said Deb Puderbaugh, one of the event coordinators. “So we’re attempting to have a simple, country Christmas in an old-fashioned, quiet, beautiful country setting.”
The event was traditionally held on two days in the evenings, but last year, it was changed to a one-day event beginning in the afternoon. Puderbaugh said the church decided to keep the change this year after receiving positive feedback from families who don’t want to keep their young children up late or don’t feel comfortable walking at night.
The active sites span over a mile. There will be shuttle bus transportation available as well, but most people prefer the walk to get the full experience of the luminary-lit path.
Visitors can pick up a brochure and ask questions at the registration table in the main level of the church. 
The church sanctuary will have various performances throughout the day and evening. First up is an interactive Christmas caroling concert (1 p.m.), which includes a song booklet for the audience to choose what they want to sing. Other performances include Moore Music School (1:30 p.m.), Nicole Murphy (3 p.m.), the Jesse Remington High School choir (4 p.m.), Granite State Cloggers (5:30 p.m.) and the Concord Coachmen Chorus (6 p.m.).
The lower level of the church will house the Christmas Cafe, where people can grab a light meal and hot drink, as well as the Christmas store, full of inexpensive stocking stuffers, where elves will be helping children do their own shopping and gift-wrapping.
Head over to the Smyth Building to view an exhibit of creches from around the world, listen to music by piano and voice students and learn about the history of Candia from the Heritage Commission.
There will be homemade baked goods for sale in the School House throughout the event.
Warm up with a cup of brew at the Coffeehouse in the Masonic Hall (5 to 8 p.m.) There will be coffee, desserts, acoustic performances and table-top games.
Step inside the “Bethlehem stable,” a.k.a. the Jesse Remington Barn, to see a Christmas nativity with live animals. Then, on the barn lawn enjoy some marshmallow-toasting at the campfire (4 to 8 p.m.).
Kids can get their faces painted (2 to 5 p.m.) and decorate gingerbread cookies in the Remington Education Center.  
This year’s Christmas Craft will be held in Steven’s Hall. Have your picture taken next to a Christmas tree, then use the photo to make a personalized ornament or decoration.
Be sure to catch Santa in the Shiloh building (4 to 7 p.m.) for his first time attending Lights on the Hill. 
Also a new addition is the town tree-lighting (7:30 p.m.), which will take place across the street from barn. 
Everyone hosting an activity or performing at Lights on the Hill is a volunteer, and Puderbaugh said that’s part of what makes it such a special event.
“We want it that way, because that’s part of the Christmas spirit — sharing talents and giving back to the community,” she said. “We’re coming together to a safe, fun place in a hectic world.” 

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