Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Stroll Entertainers

We have a great lineup of entertainers set for the Holiday Stroll! Feel free to begin your stroll downtown or at the tree lighting ceremony.

4:15 - Carolers at the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dean College Campus Common
4:40 - Tree lighting

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Jamie Barrett performs at Jane's Frames

Ongoing from 4:30 to 7p.m.

At THE BLACK BOX -- students perform scenes from three FPAC December shows, including The Nutcracker, Humbug, and a holiday panto entitled A Glass Slipper Christmas.

All around downtown -- Saint Mary Choir will be roaming the streets singing carols

At Simon's Furniture  -- Feet In Motion holiday performances, FHS musicians, and Eric the Wood Carver 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Santa, Mrs. Claus and The North Pole Postman to Appear at Holiday Stroll

Don't miss the special guests we have lined up for Thursday's Holiday Stroll!

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. the North Pole Postman will set up his post office at Emma's Quilt Cupboard! Mail letters to Santa at the North Pole and hear the Postman read from a holiday book he's written. 

From 5 to 7 p.m. visit Santa and his Elves at Simon's Furniture! While you're waiting check out holiday performances by the dancers from Feet In Motion School of Dance and watch Eric the Wood Carver work his magic with a chainsaw. 

From 5 to 7 p.m. visit Mrs. Claus at the Franklin Historical Museum! She'll read stories and hand out treats. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Stroll Press Release

Franklin Downtown Partnership Hosts Holiday Stroll December 1

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is hosting its annual holiday party on Thursday, December 1, from 4:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Franklin’s newly revitalized downtown.

Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic for this year’s Holiday Stroll, allowing easy walking between all the festivities on Main, West Central, East Central and Summer streets. Families will find decorated store fronts, entertainment and refreshments, visits with Santa, Mrs. Claus and Post Mark the North Pole Postman, crafts and gingerbread cookie decorating, and gift shopping.

“This event is always so much fun and really gets you in the mood for the holidays,” says Roberta Trahan, event co-organizer. “The Holiday Stroll showcases our businesses beautifully, and the downtown looks festive with the storefronts decorated. This year we have special guests and a new Holiday Stroll Passport that offers shoppers something extra.”

The Holiday Stroll begins at 4:15 p.m. with costumed carolers and refreshments on Dean College’s Dean Hall Common. The tree will be lit at sundown. Visitors don’t need to wait for the tree to be lit to begin their stroll through downtown; vendor booths and shops will be open for business by 4:30 p.m.

The Franklin Food Elves “12 Days of Donating” campaign benefiting the Food Pantry kicks off that day, and red donation bin will be placed at the tree lighting. Bins will also be set up participating downtown businesses.

An all-new Holiday Stroll Passport will help visitors check items off their holiday gift shopping lists. The free passport can be picked up at participating businesses. Visitors will get their passport stamped at each location listed. When the passport is full of stamps it will be entered into a grand prize drawing, which is one $25 gift card from each business listed. Check the FDP website,, and Facebook event page for a list of passport business locations.

Several special guests will make appearances at this year’s Holiday Stroll. At Emma’s Quilt Cupboard on Main Street, Post Mark the North Pole Postman will mail letters to Santa and read from a Christmas book he’s written from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Families can follow Candy Cane Lane down East Central Street to Simon’s Furniture where Santa Claus and his elves will hear wish lists from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mrs. Claus will arrive at the Franklin Historical Museum at 5 p.m. to treat kids to stories and snacks.  

Great entertainers will put everyone into a jolly mood. Jamie Barrett will sing and play guitar at Jane’s Frames. The Saint Mary’s choir will perform holiday favorites on Main Street, and WMRC 1490-AM will broadcast live with giveaways and contests.

At Simon’s Furniture, talented Franklin High School musicians will perform inside while Feet In Motion Dance School students will put on holiday-themed dances and Eric the Wood Carver will create his artwork using a chainsaw and logs outside in the parking lot.  

On West Central Street, performers at THE BLACK BOX will perform scenes from three FPAC December shows, including The Nutcracker, Humbug, and a holiday panto entitled A Glass Slipper Christmas.

Check the FDP website,, or Facebook event page for entertainment times and location updates.

Kids will enjoy the Touch-A-Truck event at the Franklin Fire Station, and the Historical Museum will have delicious treats when kids come to see Mrs. Claus.

Downtown businesses will open their doors and tempt visitors with refreshments and shopping deals on holiday gifts, services and gift cards. Sponsors and merchants will have booths inside the Depot Plaza building next to Acapulco’s on Main Street, and also at Dean Bank and Simon’s Furniture.

“We’re turning downtown Franklin into ‘Holiday Central’ during our Stroll. Everyone can visit Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Postman, sing Christmas carols, shop for gifts, and meet friends for dinner, all right here in the center of town,” says Jennifer Hurst, event co-chair.

The Holiday Stroll is made possible by the generous sponsorship of local businesses. Dean Bank and Dean College are Gold sponsors of this event. Silver sponsors are DCU, D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, Franklin Ford, Middlesex Savings Bank and Rescom Exteriors.

Bronze sponsors are Beaux Regards Photographic Art by Marjorie Sardella, BMW Gallery of Norwood, Boston Solar, Flynn/Wirkus/Young Attorneys at Law, Franklin Central Pizza, Franklin Driving School, Franklin Girl Scouts, Simon’s Furniture and Tom Fricker Heating & A/C.

For more information about the Holiday Stroll contact event organizers Roberta Trahan,, and Jennifer Hurst,

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is celebrating its 15th year as a 501©3 organization made up of business owners, community leaders and residents working to revitalize downtown Franklin. For more information about the FDP, please visit, or contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at


Friday, November 18, 2016

Thank You, Party Pics From 15th Anniversary Gala

Our 15th Anniversary Gala was a fabulous party! 

A HUGE thank you to Jane Curran and Beth Wierling for creating a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable Gala! 

Many thanks to our gala guests, sponsors, wonderful volunteers, auction item donors, Ben Gardner's Boat, THE BLACK BOX, Restaurant 3, and everyone who helped make our gala an event to remember. 

These photos (and more!) courtesy of Paul Vicario, Vicario Studio. 

See more photos at

The sponsors for our gala:

Platinum:                    Dean Bank

Bronze:                       Franklin Cultural District
                                   Franklin Public Schools - Lifelong Learning
                                   Local Town Pages
                                   Middlesex Savings Bank

Friends:                      Coldwell Banker - Suzanne Ranieri
                                   Dean College
                                   Green Mountain Chocolate
                                   Hockomock Area YMCA
                                   Jane's Frames
                                   Sally's Alley
                                   Simon's Furniture

Read the Milford Daily News interview with Executive Director Lisa Piana here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Milford Daily News' Story About 15th Anniversary Gala

In the news today -- the Milford Daily News had this article about our 15th Anniversary Fundraising celebration and successes.

Franklin partnership celebrating its 15th year

The partnership will be officially noting the birthday this weekend, with a gala set to take place Saturday night at the Black Box.
Partnership Executive Director Lisa Piana said the group began with a handful of business owners, who decided to work with the town to revitalize downtown. in 2001. Piana herself joined as director in 2005.
"In 2005, there were 15 members; now, there are more than 250," she said. "We've really grown as an organization, and we've worked hand-in-hand with the town."
Among the items the partnership has promoted, said Piana, is the idea that there should be meeting spaces for people in the area.
"The patio by the Cake Bar is something that the partnership was very vocal about," she said. The group was able to convince a developer to leave space for the patio between two commercial buildings, she said.
That idea will be reflected in the greenspace that will be set up at the intersection of Emmons and West Central streets, Piana said. That area, which will feature a statue of native son Horace Mann, will sit next to a new commercial building.
Piana said volunteers are tremendously important to what the partnership does, and that volunteers like Eileen Mason - who leads a group that plants flowers in downtown - and those who participate in the "Food Elves" food drive are integral to its mission.
The partnership's efforts, Piana said, are made possible by relationships it has developed with local groups.
"The thing I'm most proud of is the working relationship between the town and the partnership," she said. "We get calls asking about the secret to our success, and it has a lot to do with the positive thinking and attitudes of town officials and organizations like Dean College and Dean Bank."
After celebrating the area's past 15 years, the partnership will be meeting to consider its future.
"I think we'll be getting together in January to answer those questions," Piana said. "We want to support businesses more and encourage new businesses to move in. We also want to get residents more involved."
Piana said the partnership and the town's Planning Department had been working to determine how to best fill the area after the completion of the streetscape project.
"To me, personally, it's just a privilege to work with so many great people," she said. "So many people are dedicated to the goal of revitalizing downtown."

Thursday, November 3, 2016

15th Anniversary Gala Press Release

What better way to celebrate 15 years of events, accomplishments and service to Franklin residents and businesses than with a big party? That’s what the Franklin Downtown Partnership thinks, too!

Join the FDP and friends at its anniversary fundraiser gala on Saturday, November 12, at THE BLACK BOX for an evening of fine food, fundraising and music. Doors open at 6 p.m. and there will be a cash bar. Attire is “cocktail party.”  

 “With our 15th Anniversary Gala we are first celebrating the accomplishment of many of the goals we started with 15 years ago. Secondly, we are recognizing how the FDP has taken on a new shape through the new vision created by a growing body of members who care about the downtown. Thirdly, we are acknowledging that no change occurs without the hard work and dedication of many volunteers,” says Jane Curran, owner of Jane’s Frames, founding member of the FDP and gala co-organizer.  

“Our Gala gives everyone who has been involved in the downtown revitalization projects over the past 15 years a chance to celebrate together and to look forward to the next chapter in our town,” adds Nicole Fortier, Partnership president. 

The party will be about and by some of the best Franklin has to offer. Bob Ward, Franklin resident and FOX25 news reporter, will emcee the festivities. Enjoy music by local band Ben Gardner’s Boat, featuring attorney and state representative Jeff Roy on guitar. Restaurant 3 will cater delicious hearty appetizers and a pasta station, and gala guests will bid on exciting auction and raffle items and baskets of goodies donated by local merchants.

Tickets are on sale now for $100 each. There are two ways to purchase tickets: online at (includes a $5.99/ticket service fee) or in person at Jane’s Frames. Tickets will be available through Tuesday, November 2.

Proceeds from ticket sales, auction and raffle items, and sponsorships will help financially support the Partnership’s future efforts as a voice of downtown Franklin and operation of its events.

The Partnership is grateful for the generous sponsorship of the gala. Dean Bank is a Platinum sponsor of this event. Bronze sponsors are Franklin Public Schools Lifelong Learning Institute, Local Town Pages, Middlesex Savings Bank and the Town of Franklin.

Friends sponsors are Dean College, Green Mountain Chocolates, Hockomock Area YMCA’s Bernon Family Branch, Jane’s Frames, Suzanne Ranieri, Sally’s Alley and Simon’s Furniture.

Attending the gala gives guests a good way to connect with the community at large, along with business leaders, town staff and government officials. It’s also an opportunity to see the FDP’s impact on the revitalization of Franklin’s downtown, according to co-organizer Beth Wierling.

“Every time I walk and drive through downtown I see the results of community involvement. I live downtown and I want the area to be the place to go to shop, eat and do errands. Being a member of the Franklin Downtown Partnership enables me to have a voice and truly help revitalize Franklin’s already great downtown,” says Wierling.

In 2001, eight business owners and residents who were interested in revitalizing the town’s downtown center created the non-profit Franklin Downtown Partnership. By 2015 the organization had grown to nearly 200 member businesses, groups and residents, many of whom have been members for more than 10 years.

The Partnership is well known for creating and running the popular Harvest Stroll, Holiday Stroll and Strawberry Stroll events. It’s also had a hand in at least 25 projects over the past 15 years, including new buildings on East Central and Summer streets, greenspace installations, downtown gateway signs, and creation of a statue in front of the Historical Museum. The group was heavily involved in planning the recently completed Downtown Streetscape and Roadway Improvement project.

 “I’m most proud of the changes in our downtown as older buildings have been replaced or restored, building owners have taken a new pride in their property, and many traffic issues have been solved,” says Curran. “Our downtown has become a welcoming, vibrant community that we can all be proud of.” 

For more information about the 15th Anniversary Gala, to donate auction and raffle items, or to sponsor the event, contact Jane Curran,, or Beth Wierling,

The Franklin Downtown Partnership welcomes volunteers and new members. To learn more about the group, it’s history, it’s events, and how you can get involved, visit