EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 20, 2013

Ringing in the winter solstice

ANDOVER — The Shawsheen River Watershed Association hosts its fourth annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Because of the snowy conditions, the event has been moved to Pomps Pond Recreation Park, 147 Abbot St. The group will gather at the pavilion at the end of the paved road.

The program will feature a short presentation on the astronomy, history and folklore of the winter solstice, interspersed with music and singing. Solstice observers should bring bells to ring to wake up the sun as the Holly King Banner is retired and the Oak King Banner is raised to symbolize the time of lengthening days.

A campfire for roasting marshmallows for s’mores and baked potatoes will follow. People should bring their own supplies and beverages; alcoholic drinks are not allowed.

Admission is free; the public is invited. Parking will be along the access road, known as Recreation Park Road. The road is level, paved and plowed with plenty of room to drive and park. There also is cover in case of inclement weather. Email bob_otter@comcast.net with questions or for more information.

Masons help families at Emmaus House

HAVERHILL — Members of the Merrimack Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Haverhill said this year is the seventh straight year they have made sure that families living at Emmaus House and who have children will have a merry Christmas. They said the tradition was started in 2007 by the Master of the Lodge, Richard Pettengill.

The Lodge contacted Emmaus House that year and asked the management for the first name, gender, and age of each child living there.

The Lodge asked what each child either wanted or needed as well as what size was required should the request be clothing. The list was distributed among Lodge members and every child was provided for. The endeavor was such an overwhelming success that every successive Master of the Lodge has continued the tradition.

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