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Now that Thanksgiving is past it’s time to gear up for the winter holidays. The Merry Maple lighting ceremony is Friday around 4 p.m. on the Town Common in front of Town Hall. The Regional Middle School Chorus led by David Ranen will perform. You can sing along. The University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band will lead the parade that brings Santa to town on a fire department truck. The Amherst History Museum at the Strong House will host Santa as he greets children. (Good photo op.) There will be refreshments. It’s free.

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More holiday doings.

Also on Friday, the Bangs Center is holding a Holiday Craft Fair and Community Tag Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit the Senior Center. There will be a bake sale and lunch.

The annual Artisan’s Fair is at the Lord Jeff this year. It will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission is free.

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The Amherst Rotary Club invites residents to attend its meetings when there are speakers of general interest. The club meets every Thursday at the ABC Brew Pub on University Drive at noon. The schedule: Dec. 6: E.J. Mills, Amherst College football coach; Dec. 13: Jeff Winston of Peace Tree Video Productions; Dec. 20: Club assembly; Jan. 3: Laurie Johnson of the Pilates Studio in Hadley; Jan. 17: Club assembly; Jan. 24: Ira Helfand, Nuclear Famine. There is a fee for lunch.

The Amherst Club also invites residents to its meetings. The club meets every Tuesday at the ABC Brew Pub on University Drive at 12:15 p.m. The schedule: Dec. 4: Alex Krogh-Grabbe, Business Improvement District director; Dec. 11: ABC Staff discuss brew making; Dec. 18: TBA; Jan. 8: Amherst League of Women Voters presentation on “Follow the Money.” There is a fee for the lunch.

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It was one sad week in November with the loss of good friends who had contributed to the community. Condolences to the family and friends of Michael Cann, Tom Eddy, Elaine Fligman, Adele Sarro, Win Thorne and Sara Wolff.

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