Thousands will be rocking around the holiday tree on Friday night for the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce's 27th annual Downtown for the Holidays.
Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joan Groome says a wealth of song-and-dance groups will be all over the downtown beginning at around 4 p.m. and braving the cold through much of the night
"It's a mini Rockefeller Center," Groome said of the annual event. "There's a 60-foot Christmas tree this year. It is the most beautifully-shaped Christmas tree you'll see...it's a night to bring the family, just to be with everyone and start the holiday season."
At 4:30 East Ridgewood from Broad to Maple will be shut down. Side streets will be open, however.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., numerous groups will be gathering the bells, collecting their vocal chords and tuning their instruments.
The Ridgewood High School marching band will be performing, as will the RHS Chorus. In addition, the high school orchestra will be at several different stores accompanied by a harpist.
To infuse a little bit of rock to this year's theme – "Rock Around the Christmas Tree" – two bands, The Aristocrats and Take 4 will also be performing. Travell's 4th grade music class can be found near Pompanoosac Mills. At 6:45 p.m., the Harmony Choir will be adding some song to the night while the Irish Dance School smash the ground.
At 7 p.m. Art of Motion will take to the stage, followed by Porchlight Productions, From the Top Music Studio and Arthur Murray Dance Studio. The tree lighting will start at 7:30 p.m. followed by – you guessed it – more singing.
From 8 to 9 p.m. Santa will be at the park, joined by the RHS Marching Band.
Crowds could range from 4,000 to more than 6,000 people and Groome is optimistic stores stay open late to showcase a little taste of Ridgewood for those not familiar with the downtown.
"The original premise 27 years ago was to kick off the holiday season to bring people into town, to walk through the shops," Groome said. "Ridgewood, as it always does, does it first class, so come on down!"