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The original item was published from 11/14/2022 2:15:00 PM to 12/3/2022 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: November 14, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Amherst Area Chamber & Downtown BID Announce a Merry Maple Lighting

Festive white lights wrapped around a tree trunk

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District are excited to announce the celebration of the Lighting of the Merry Maple on Friday, December 2nd at from 3:00 to 7:00PM in partnership with their Presenting Sponsor, bankESB. The 50-plus-year-old tradition of lighting a living tree in the North Common began in 1966. This year will be no different. We may have lost the giant merry maple but the lighting of the smaller version will be larger in light than any that have come before it.

The Amherst Area Chamber Executive Director Claudia Pazmany shares, “We are thrilled to bring so many partners together to ensure this lighting remains a centerpiece of our holiday season and part of a larger group of events to encourage local love of holiday shopping, dining and experiences.”

The illumination is only one part of the merriest downtown Amherst events. The Very Merry Maple Festival & Tree Lighting will include the following festivities:

  • 3-6 pm – Fire Station Open House: Visit the Amherst Fire Department and experience a life-size fire engine with all its bells and whistles.
  • 4-6 pm – 
    • Hayrides: by Muddy Brook Farm (arrive/depart from Town Common)
    • Donuts and Cider (in front of Town Hall Steps – on N Common)
  • 4:30 pm – Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus (Town Hall Steps)
  • 4:45 pm – Lighting of A Very Merry Maple tree, Lights courtesy of the Amherst BID
  • 5:30 pm – UMass Marching Band parade: Santa will be delivered by the Amherst Fire Department and accompanied by the UMass Marching Band. Sing-alongs and merry fun with our sponsors.
  • 6:30 pm – Visit with Santa: March to Amherst History Museum, at the Strong House (located next to the Jones Library) and take a picture with Santa and enjoy treats! (Use your own camera/phone!) – District Attorney, David Sullivan returns as Santa.

“bankESB is proud to once again be the Presenting Sponsor of the lighting of the Merry Maple,” said bankESB President and CEO Matthew S. Sosik. “We are excited to continue supporting this time honored-tradition as it evolves and we look forwarding to celebrating the holiday season with the Amherst community.”

Event partners include: Presenting Sponsor, bankESB: Amherst Fire Department; Muddy Brook Farm; District Attorney, David Sullivan; Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus; UMass Marching Band; Atkins Farms Country Market; Amherst Historical Museum, Amherst Recreation and the Town of Amherst.

“The traditional gathering has grown over the years, bringing town and gown together with participants from the Middle School choir, the Minuteman Marching band from the University of Massachusetts and treats from Atkins Farms. A great night to do curb side pickup from your favorite local restaurant or visit your favorite downtown restaurant with your friends and families.” shares Gabrielle Gould, of the Business Improvement District. “And remember Merry Day is December 3 and join the Amherst BID for its first Annual Sip & Shop Stroll on December 15.” Adds Gould. “We intend to make this a very merry season for ALL.”

Questions? Please email Claudia Pazmany, Executive Director, for any inquiries at 

Copy above from an Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce press release dated 11/10/2022

Please also note: there will be a separate Celebration of Life for the current Merry Maple hosted by the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee on Wednesday, November 16th from 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM on the North Common. Learn more about this family-friendly farewell on our Amherst Community Calendar by clicking here.  All are welcome! 

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