AMESBURY — The holiday season is about to get rolling for local seniors when the Amesbury Council on Aging hosts its annual luncheon Thursday at Holy Family Parish Hall.

Council on Aging Director Doreen Arnfield said the holiday luncheon provides a traditional turkey dinner to an estimated 150 guests each year. The doors will open at 11 a.m.

Arnfield said she expects visits by Mayor Ken Gray, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, and state Rep. Jim Kelcourse, R-Amesbury. The Amesbury Rotary Club will be serving and the Shared Living Collaborative will cook.

An a capella group from Amesbury High School will perform and Moments in Time with Dan Cleary and Chuck Wright is also scheduled to appear.

“This is probably in line with our Amesbury Days cookout as our largest event of the year,” Arnfield said. “It’s a nice time.”

The Friends of the Council on Aging will present its annual Christmas fair at the Nicholas J. Costello Transportation Center (68 Elm St.) on Saturday. 

Arnfield said plenty of handmade crafts, blankets and baskets will be on sale at the fair, which will also feature a jewelry table, knitted goods, kids grab bags, a hot dog bar, a handmade bake shop and make-it-and-take-it crafts.

“This is a good chance to pick up some gifts or maybe get something for yourself,” Arnfield said. “The FCOA has worked very hard at making things and coordinating this fair. So, when people come through the doors, they will have a really nice opportunity to buy things and to put their tickets in for some raffles to support the Council on Aging’s programming.”

The holiday festivities continue when a group of Amesbury Elementary School kindergartners sing Christmas carols for seniors at the Costello Center on Dec. 17 at 10:30 a.m.

“This is wonderful,” Arnfield said. “The parents come too and the seniors are listening and there are just smiles on everybody’s face. It really gets you into the holiday mood if you are not already there.”

Mayor-elect Kassandra Gove is expected to join officials from the city’s Police and Fire departments at a holiday breakfast with the chiefs. The breakfast will be held at the Costello Center on Dec. 21 at 8:30 a.m.

“We will put on some Christmas music and have a good, hot breakfast,” Arnfield said. “It’s just another opportunity to get together. The Council on Aging is a lot of socializing and being together with each other.”

Arnfield said the holidays can also be stressful for some people and the Council on Aging will offer a coping with the holidays group at the Costello Center on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

“I have had a couple of gentlemen come in over the last few weeks who both lost their wives,” Arnfield said. “They are very sad and what a time for that. So, this is a chance to get together with others facing that grief and sorrow during these times. Sometimes, it helps just to talk with somebody else who is facing the same thing.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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