Stamford announces new Holiday Stroll for 2021 season

Stamford has its eyes fixed on the merriest time of the year: the wintertime holidays. The city has announced a “new holiday tradition” for 2021, Stamford's Holiday Stroll.

A cohort of organizations from across the city will host a full-fledged wintertime festival for the first time in Mill River Park that will run from the day after Thanksgiving until early January.

Popular city culture blog Hey Stamford — in collaboration with the Mill River Park Collaborative, Half Full Brewery and Norwalk’s Blind Rhino sports bar — will host the first annual Holiday Stroll at Mill River Park from Nov. 26 until Jan. 9 with “festive, dazzling world of larger-than-life holiday light displays,” Hey Stamford announced on Tuesday.

Though the main features of the stroll are the 70-plus twinkling displays that will be scattered through the park featuring everything from reindeer to skating polar bears, the park will also host a Christmas village with music and a pop-up pizza shop and a “state-of-the-art” 30-foot Christmas tree as its centerpiece; Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photos. Nearby, Half Full Brewery will operate its Winter Beer Garden for the first time since 2019, serving up beer, wine, cider and food. The Holiday Stroll will also offer food trucks and vendors from around the state.

Also on tap, Stamford Downtown this year is hosting a Thanksgiving celebration at Mill River Park instead of its annual parade. Days before the Holiday Stroll begins — on Nov. 21 — the group will hold a stationary “park party” with some of the parade’s traditional balloons, marching bands and performers.

Stamford Downtown cited coronavirus concerns when it postponed the traditional parade this year. The Stamford Parade Spectacular is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country. In past years, it has attracted more than 100,000 spectators and featured up to 30 balloons.

“Whether you love the twinkle of lights, candy canes or your favorite Christmas music, the Holiday Stroll offers something special for everyone,” Ilario Altamura of event organizer Parachute Concerts said in a statement. “We can’t wait to share this wonderful immersive experience with families and friends throughout Stamford.”

Tickets are already available for the Holiday Stroll, with the first night of the event already sold out. Prices range from $15 to $25 and vary based on day of the week. The Holiday Stroll will be open nightly through Jan. 9, 2022 from 5 to 10 p.m.