Hadley’s Hopkins gazebo holiday lighting subdued this year

  • A live tree, planted in memory of Peter Wanczyk of Wanczyk Nursery, is lit to begin the second annual Celebration of Lights held at Hopkins Memorial Park gazebo in Hadley on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.

Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 01, 2020

HADLEY – Hadley’s fifth annual Celebration of Lights in 2021 could take place at a time when life in the United States is back to normal and the COVID-19 pandemic is history.

But this year’s fourth edition, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and put on by the Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation, will be a different event than in the past, even as the gazebo next to Hopkins Academy, built in 2014 for the 350th anniversary of the school, and a tree planted in memory of Peter Wanczyk  are lit for the holiday season.

“We all agreed we needed to continue it and not drop it,” said Kathy Tudryn, president of the foundation’s board.

So while a switch will be flicked to have the lights turned on, and retired Hopkins band director Eddie Forman will lead his fellow board members in a handful of seasonal songs, the public is being discouraged from gathering.

Instead of community participation, people will only be permitted to drive through the school’s lot between 5 and 6 p.m. Saturday to make donations to two charities, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Baystate Children’s Hospital.

Using their boots, Hadley firefighters will be collecting these donations in the drive-thru format. Checks can be made out to the Hadley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. People can also send checks in the mail to the public safety complex at 15 East St., Hadley, MA 01035.

Tudryn said the event is expected to be recorded by Hadley Media and will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday and will also be available on Hadley Media’s YouTube channel.