There haven't been many reasons for celebration in 2020, but as we approach the festive season the Somersworth Christmas Parade Committee has teamed up with the Somersworth Recreation Department to spread some holiday cheer and perhaps some glitter around the City of Somersworth.

This year, the committee has created 10 ways for Hilltop citizens to celebrate the spirit of the season. These include a variety of competitions including a TikTok competition for the more tech-savvy.

For the more creative, there is the Merriest Holiday Reef photo contest, and because no one ever wants to leave out the furry or not so furry members of our families there is also a Cute Critters of Christmas photo contest. As the names suggest, just snap your best festive picture of your pet or creation and submit it to the Somersworth Recreation Department for a chance to win one of several gift cards.

There are two other contests and one in particular will give you bragging rights for an entire year. The contest is of course the Somersworth House Decorating contest. So grab your lights, extension cords and get creative. Snap a picture and send it in to be entered.

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The final contest is for all Somersworth kids ages 3-13. The Holiday Youth Coloring Contest offers three age categories each with their own unique coloring page that can be picked up from the recreation department in the city or or the library on Main Street. So grab your pens, crayons or markers and get creative. All entries will be displayed in the windows at Somersworth City Hall throughout December.

Of course there are two things that make Somersworth festivities complete, apart from the parade which will not happen this year. Those will be sighting of Santa Claus in the city and of course the Christmas tree that sits on the corners of Main and Market street at the SS Somersworth Park. These have not been forgotten by the Parade committee and chair Beth Poulin is happy to report that Santa Claus will make an appearance on December 13 between 12 and 2 p.m. He will be on the middle school lawn and those who wish to visit are welcome to drive by and wave to the big man himself. The committee asks that you enter through the Cemetery Road end of Memorial Drive should you decide to come pay him a visit.

As for the tree, Somersworth Public Works will be busy getting it looking its very best before filming of the virtual lighting ceremony takes place. The ceremony will be broadcast on Channels 22 and 95 throughout the month of December beginning December 9. Also broadcast at that time will be the annual story time with the mayor. This year, Mayor Dana Hilliard and his merry band of city elves will be reading "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

Folks can also check out this year's ice sculpture, which promises to offer wonderful family photograph opportunities. The sculpture will appear outside the Somersworth Public Library on Main Street beginning the afternoon of December 19.

Now, as if that weren't enough there, there will be another opportunity for the younger citizens to sharpen their crayons, markers or pens. The recreation department is seeking kids of all ages to help to make holiday cards, draw pictures and write positive messages that will be displayed in the Somersworth Housing Authority Senior Apartment complexes throughout December. Cards, letters or pictures can be submitted to the recreation office inside City Hall.

All of the activities listed can be found and details of how to submit your winning entry here.

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