Cranston Chatter

The Cranston Herald ·

Santa is coming to Garden City this Saturday

The Santa Arrival party will be held at the gazebo at Garden City Center on Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa will arrive in a horse drawn carriage at 11 a.m. and then he will go inside his cabin for professional photos and visits. Enjoy face painting, hayrides, crafts, treats and more until 1 p.m. Santa’s arrival will be held rain or shine.

City Hall Holidays

The Annual City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting will take place Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. outside rain or shine.  Hot cocoa, cookies, musical performances from Cranston Public School choruses and BASICS Holiday GLEE children, as well as a visit from Ole St. Nick himself. Mayor Allan Fung will light the Christmas tree during this well attended community event. 

The Annual Menorah Lighting at Cranston City Hall will be Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. inside on the first floor. Traditional prayers, music, songs, games and potato latkes will be featured.  Always a fun family friendly time.

Coffee with Rep. Lancia is this Saturday

Rep. Robert Lancia will hold his monthly “Coffee with Constituents” this Saturday, at Panera Bread in Cranston, from 8 to 10 a.m.

Cranston Historical Society Holiday Open Houses

Cranston Historical Society Annual Holiday Open Houses will be held on Dec. 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit the 1860’s Governor Sprague Mansion Museum, 1351 Cranston St. and the 1770’s Colonial Joy Homestead at 156 Scituate Ave. 

Enjoy holiday music, cookies and wassail and get into the holiday spirit by visiting their museums.  The Cranston Historical Society has graciously opened both museums to the public at no charge for several decades. 

Highlighting the evening at Sprague Mansion will be Andrew Kaplan, Rhode Island pianist, who will perform musical selections on Cranston Historical Society’s rare 1800’s Concerta D Grand Steinway for your enjoyment.  The Western Cranston Garden Club decorates the Mansion in a spirited Victorian-theme.

At the Joy Homestead, Colonial-dressed hosts will greet visitors and join in to enjoy colonial cheer and the warmth of the Job Joy’s fireplaced home. Commodore Whipple and Major Pitcairn of his Majesty’s Marines will visit the Homestead this year. Bring your favorite doll and share afternoon tea at the Homestead. The Cranston Historical Society’s Joy volunteers invite all to a Joy Homestead Colonial Christmas. Gather around the cozy fireplace for tea, cocoa, and cookies to celebrate the season. Families are welcome. Bring the kids to play with our toys and games of the time and meet sailors and soldiers of the era. For more information contact 944-9226.

Join in Fez-tival of Trees

For any businesses and organizations looking for a spectacular way to market your product/service easily and cost effectively, consider decorating a tree for the Rhode Island Shriners' Annual Fez-tival of Trees, scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.

The FEZ-tival of Trees will feature an impressive display of beautifully decorated trees, Wreaths & Menorahs which have been created and donated by local businesses and groups.  Attendees will have the unique opportunity to enter raffles to win these displays and have the proceeds directly benefit the Rhode Island Shriners. 

The Fez-tival of Trees will be open to the public on Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 3 p.m. that day, FEZ-tival of Trees will be closing out the Raffle to win the Trees. Drawings will take place and tree winners will be announced.

There is a suggested $2 per person for admission. All children are admitted free with free Children’s Activities, including Face Painting, Arts & Crafts. They can even write a letter to Santa Claus then visit and share their magical wishes with Santa.

Enjoy lunch in their Mrs. Claus Café, cash bar available with Holiday specials.

Pet photos with Santa for A.D.O.P.T.

On Dec. 3, Pet Supplies Plus in Garden City will host pet photos with Santa or Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman from noon to 5 p.m. Photography by Gene Hutnak and children and their families are also welcome in the photo. All proceed will go the Animals Depend On People Too, Inc. (A.D.O.P.T.) which is a nonprofit volunteer organization for pets in need throughout the state and the Cranston Animal Shelter.

The donation is $20 for two different photos with one character. You can reproduce the photographs. There will be porcelain snowflake photo ornaments available for sale as well.

For more information call 826-0320.

CCAP Adopt-a-Family Program

Once again CCAP is organizing their annual "CCAP Adopt-a-Family Program." Although reports say that the economy has improved, they are still seeing very fragile communities, and families continue to struggle. They hope that you will assist us in bringing a happy holiday season to them.

The "Adopt-a-Family Program" helps hundreds of local families during the holiday and your commitment to this project would be greatly appreciated.

CCAP makes it easy for you to extend your kindness and generosity to the families in need in our community by helping in two ways: you can adopt a family and they can provide you with their wish list; or you can make a monetary donation.  A donation of $300 will adopt an entire family!

Your gift, large or small, can make a difference for a joyous holiday for a family in need.

All donations are due by Dec. 13 at 311 Doric Avenue, Cranston. For more information, please contact Joanne Gregory at 562-8333 or

Knightsville Gazebo Christmas Tree Lighting

The 3rd Annual Knightsville Gazebo Christmas tree lighting will be held on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. The Gazebo is located at 10 Phenix Ave. This year’s celebration will have Christmas Carols, Hot Chocolate and even a visit from Santa Claus.  BASICS Holiday GLEE club and St. Mary's School Chorus will be performing.

Craft Bash at The Artists’ Exchange

Families are welcome to join the Artists’ Exchange for free crafts on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Make paper-marbled cards for the holidays. Create a few handmade cards with custom messages while learning the science behind paper marbling. The Artists’ Exchange is located at 50 Rolfe Square.

At the Senior Center

Michael A. Traficante Enrichment Center, the former Cranston Senior Enrichment Center, is located at 1070 Cranston St. For any additional information on the following programs, call 780-6000.

Meditation Series called “Getting Through the Holidays” will be held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. on Nov 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 with facilitator: Tyronne Jackson. This free four-part series will focus on practicing meditation for a peaceful Holiday season. The series will help reduce stress and enhance your physical and emotional well-being. Space is limited. Register now by calling 780-6000.

Book Club will meet on Nov. 28 at 10:30 a.m. and will discuss ‘Wishin’ & Hopin’ by Wally Lamb. It is an unforgettable novella that captures the warmth and joy of the holiday season…poignant and hilarious. Be sure to join in for an interesting discussion.

The Green House Homes at the Saint Elizabeth Community will host a video tour of the amazing homes which are a new model of nursing home care on Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. at the Senior Center.

Painting for Beginners will be held on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. at a cost of $3 per session. When you decide you want to paint, you will likely encounter the “art myth” that it takes talent.  Don’t believe it!  What you need more than anything is the desire and enthusiasm to learn. This class will cover mixing paint, placement on the palette, shading, light and shadow. For more information call Kathi at 780-6216.

Holiday Meal Program getting ready. Will you be alone, or do you know someone who will be alone for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?  Volunteers will prepare and deliver Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to any Cranston Senior who will be alone for the Holiday. If you would like a meal delivered to your home on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and/or a Christmas meal delivered on Dec. 22 please call 780-6000 and leave your name, address/apt number, zip code and telephone number. Register for Thanksgiving meal by Nov.10.

CHSE Funny4Funds comedy fundraiser

On Dec. 2, Funny4Funds will hold a comedy fundraiser to benefit Cranston High School East Music Department at the Brightridge Club, 59 Brightridge Ave. in East Providence. Tickets are $25 each and doors open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m. There will be light appetizers and dessert with cash bar available along with raffle prizes, live auction, and a 50/50 drawing. For tickets, please contact Sara Larrabee at 536-0264.

Holiday Strolls through Garden City Center

On Dec. 8 and 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. Garden City will host their annual holiday strolls for the season. It will be held rain, snow or moonlight. Both nights will include live ice carving, strolling carolers including Brown Derbies, VOX and Merry Dickens and a Strolling snowman. On Dec. 8, Hope Highlands chorus and jazz band will perform, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Author Expo

The Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) will hold their 5th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo on Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston.

This year, the Expo will feature a record 135 published Rhode Island authors headlined by bestselling romance author Marie Force (Gansett Island Episodes) and Jon Land (Strong Cold Dead). Books on display from participating authors will represent a wide variety of genres including romance, mystery, horror, history, biography and children's. Hundreds of autographed books will be available for purchase and a list of all participating authors is posted on ARIA's website, Parking and admission to the expo will be free.

In addition to book signings, the expo will feature several presentations. Marie Force will be speaking on her own personal writing journey, and presentations on memoir writing, humor writing, self-publishing, and other topics are scheduled throughout the day. A special writer’s resource area will also include exhibits from a variety of literary organizations across the state.

The Rhode Island Authors Expo is co-sponsored by Motif Magazine, The Rhode Island Center for the Book, Pawtucket Credit Union, AAA of Southern New England, Airport Taxi, Dean Warehouse Services, Cardi’s Furniture, Wakefield Books, Compass Self-Storage and L’Europa Auto Repair.

Did You Know?

In 1863, writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote countless articles and letters to persuade the president – and the rest is history! (Source: Thanksgiving Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, e-mail Meri R. Kennedy at Photos in .jpg format are accepted and news can range from community events, promotions, academic news and non-profit events. E-mail today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald. Please include a daytime telephone number in case we require any further information. Be sure to check out our website at