Volunteers light up Chester Green, prepare to kick off 32nd Overture

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Aband of volunteers braved a chilly, windy morning on Saturday to install Christmas lights on the Chester Green in anticipation of the 32nd edition of Chester’s Overture to Christmas.

Led by Chris Meyer, one group unpacked, unspooled and, in some cases, untangled thousands of feet of LED strings while another crew wrapped those lights around tree trunks.

Jim Ravlin brought his hydraulic lift to put lights on the Christmas tree at one end of the green and two of the taller trees at the other.

More volunteers lit 11 small trees surrounding the gazebo. The trees are being decorated by businesses and individuals who sponsored them as a fundraiser for the Overture to Christmas committee.

Events will take place from Monday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 3 with activities for kids, caroling, the arrival of Santa Claus, lighting of the Christmas tree and the first annual Victorian House and Cookie Tour.

For more information about the events, click here.

For the Sunday tour, nine homeowners along Main Street will open a portion of their decorated houses to the public and offer a homemade Christmas cookie to visitors. There are a limited number of tickets — booklets that include a description of each home and cookie recipes — available from Phoenix Books, Misty Valley for $5 each. Ticket sales will support the work of the Overture committee on next year’s event. And each person must bring his booklet to the tour for entrance.

Jim Ravlin moves his lift into place to string lights in trees on the Green. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

The first Overture to Christmas was organized in 1986 by Jack Coleman, a retired college president and economist who moved to Chester to operate what is now the Fullerton Inn. Coleman’s vision was to celebrate a Victorian Christmas with all the trimmings. Earlier this fall, the Overture committee asked for and received permission to place a plaque recognizing Coleman in the Gazebo on the Green.

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  1. We have a press release about the tea and sale and will be publishing the details in our Community Events post on Monday (11/27.) In the meantime, we invite readers to find info about the St. Luke’s Tea and other events by clicking Calendar of Events on the navigation bar at the top of any page. Click on the tea for a link to the church website.

  2. Lew Watters says:

    You have left out the annual Christmas Tea & Sale at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Main Street, which has been held longer that the Overture to Christmas. This year the event is on Saturday Dec. 2 from 11 AM to 3 PM. There is an abundance of information and photos on the church website.