It’s that one time of year when some 30,000 people really feel connected to their community. It’s up close and personal, and no one seems to mind sharing space with each other. It’s also one of the few moments that you can see a smile on just about every face you meet.

Maybe we all just want to believe in something like the goodness of mankind, the spirit of celebration or a place to call home.

On Saturday, Nov. 30, from 4:30 p.m. until 9:45, the city of Nashua will again hold its annual Winter Holiday Stroll, a free event.

The tradition begins with a candlelit procession from City Hall Plaza and proceeds up Main Street to the historic Hunt Memorial Building for the ceremonial lighting of the city Christmas tree.

The half-mile walk in the crisp November air attracts a throng of residents, visitors from miles away, many families and friends and some furry companions, too.

There’s lots of laughter and lots to see, and most of Main Street is shut down to traffic. Live entertainment, street vendors, ice sculptors and various performances are scheduled. Revelers can dine in one of the many restaurants downtown and do some holiday shopping.

Even Santa’s Village will be humming at its 30 Temple St. location from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5:45 to 9:45 p.m.

There is free parking in the city lots and shuttle buses will be available beginning at 4:15 p.m. from Holman Stadium and Rivier University.

What I find amazing about the Winter Holiday Stroll is its long history — this year’s event is the 26th annual.

Now, that’s impressive.

The stroll is a Great American Downtown event with presenting partner City of Nashua Downtown Improvement Committee.

For more information, visit, or call 883-5700.

Speaking of the heart of the city, I’m curious what folks think of Nashua’s new way-finding system. These are the signs that help drivers and pedestrians safely navigate through our downtown center and direct visitors and new residents to key areas like City Hall, the public library, the courthouse, Greeley Park, the bus transit system and more.

The city has been replacing the older signage, and more of the newer signs seem to be popping up as the weeks go by.

I like the new way-finding signage that features white letters on a black background and black pole. The signs appear to have a vintage style, which fits rather nicely with Nashua’s striking historical features.

From what I recall reading, the signage project was paid for in part by revenue generated from fees paid at the parking meters and kiosks around the city.

According to environmental graphic design experts, the right kind of signage in an urban center can also help a city rebrand its downtown, unify a city’s identity and develop economic growth.

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at