News 2020: SPARKLE at the Star Store
SPARKLE at the Star Store

Add a little SPARKLE to your life this holiday season during a day-long event of festivities on Saturday, December 12, sponsored by the CVPA and the City of New Bedford.

CVPA Star Store downtown New Bedfor

'Tis the season during an evening of SPARKLE. Capture a glimpse of this lively holiday event during AHA! Night on Thursday, December 10, 5-8 pm. And then join us for a day of free festivities on Saturday, December 12, 11 am-6 pm. See the schedule of performances.

SPARKLE will focus on the Star Store and the connection to the community and engage other downtown organizations and businesses to create a fun reason to visit this part of the city while also supporting its stores and restaurants. The event will create a festive destination in downtown New Bedford for the residents of the city and the region during a holiday season without the usual fun, seasonal family activities. 


Thank you to our Primary Sponsors for making this event possible.

  • BayCoast Bank & Bristol County Savings Bank

We would also like to acknowledge & thank:

  • dNB Inc.
  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  • New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!
  • SouthCoast Community Foundation
  • Spinner Publications


Saturday's events will be staged on Purchase Street, where the block between Spring Street and Union Street will be closed, and in front of the Star Store. Programming is designed to enhance social distancing and will be conducted per all regulations governing outside activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. December 12 events include:

  • A diverse program of entertainment will be staged in the performance tent and the Swain Gallery in the Star Store at the corner of Union St. and Purchase St. and rechristened the City Stage. Performances in the Star Store will be visible through the gallery’s windows and the sound broadcast through speakers on the sidewalks outside.
  • The Star Store windows will be decorated for the holidays and will offer greetings from the UMassD colleges and schools to the community.
  • A variety of performing artists and organizations, including the Department of Music at CVPA, the New Bedford Symphony, Festival Ballet of Providence, the Zeiterion, Your Theatre, South Coast Brass Band, 3rd EyE, The Groovalottos, and UNCG alumna and fado singer Candida Rose will perform.
  • A special visitor from the North Pole, sponsored by the Senator Montigny Children’s Equality & Empowerment Fund, will ride through downtown New Bedford in an antique truck and wave to children.
  • Our very special visitor from the North Pole will be downtown from 2-4 pm on Saturday. He will ride on a firetruck in a loop starting at the Star Store up Union St to Pleasant St, east on Pleasant to William St., down William to Water St. and the back to Union St.
  • All children may bring their letters to Santa to deposit in a special mailbox outside the Star Store (715 Purchase St.) on Thursday evening or Saturday until 6 pm or on Saturday at the visitors’ center for the New Bedford National Whaling Historical Park off Custom House Square.
  • Elves, with the help of Bishop Stang's senior class, will make sure every letter with a return address is answered, again either in English or Spanish. 

Please note, the schedule of events is subject to change without notice.

Social distancing

This inaugural event is hosted by the CVPA, UMass Dartmouth, AHA!, and the City of New Bedford in partnership with downtown New Bedford. All programming will be socially distanced and conducted in accordance with all regulations governing outside activities during the COVID-19 crisis.