Hadley’s Celebration of Lights slated for Saturday 

  • The Hadley Celebration of Lights at Hopkins Memorial Park is seen in 2018. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, November 29, 2021

HADLEY — Hopkins Academy’s Division 4 baseball state championship will be recognized prior to the town’s Celebration of Lights, a holiday season kickoff event, on Saturday evening.

The annual event, sponsored by the Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation, begins at 5 p.m. and includes the lighting of the gazebo and a tree planted in memory of Peter Wanczyk of Wanczyk Evergreen Nursery at Hopkins Memorial Park at Hopkins Academy.

There also will be caroling, refreshments and an opportunity to donate to a gift collection organized by the town’s fire and police departments.

In its fifth year, the Celebration of Lights returns to an in-person gathering after a mostly drive-through event was held in 2020.

Foundation President Kathy Tudryn said the event is nondenominational.

“A common thread is light in some form whether it be lights on a tree, candles being lit or fire in some form that are a part of a celebration,” Tudryn said.

A few minutes before the event, there will be a salute to the baseball players and their families, along with coaches and others, for bringing Hopkins its first baseball state title since 1985.

Already, commemorative bricks that line the walkway near the gazebo are inscribed with the names of players to memorialize their feat.

Local Girl Scouts will lead the caroling. Refreshments will be from North Hadley Sugar Shack, Barstows’ Dairy Store and Bakery and the Dunkin’ Donuts of Hadley. Tudryn said cookies and munchies will be bagged as a COVID-19 safety precaution.

Unwrapped toys will be collected by the police and fire departments for donation to children at Shriner’s Hospital and Baystate Medical Center.

The event will be held no matter the weather conditions.