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Gainesville City Commission Finalizes Interviews for City Auditor Role

In an impressive display of talent, Gainesville City Commission recently completed interviews for the long-awaited city auditor position. Three standout candidates, Thomas Alger, Rory Galter, and Stephen Mhere, emerged from a pool of applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The commission members expressed their satisfaction with the latest round of interviews, praising the candidates’ excellent responses and wealth of experience.

Thomas Alger, currently serving as the Chief Audit Executive for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, brings over two decades of financial management and auditing expertise to the table. With an extensive career that includes key positions at esteemed institutions such as the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Massachusetts Port Authority, Alger’s credentials speak for themselves.

Rory Galter, the audit manager for the city audit office in Dallas, Texas, boasts an impressive 45-year track record in audit and financial management. His background in banking, retail, and healthcare has equipped him with the necessary skills to thrive in the role. Galter expressed his belief that Gainesville’s auditor office is already well-run and emphasized the importance of building upon its strengths.

Stephen Mhere, currently a senior auditor for the city of Tampa, has a remarkable background in both government and education roles. Mhere, who holds master’s degrees in business administration and health informatics, has dedicated over 18 years to serving the public through his expertise in auditing. He expressed his commitment to understanding the current strengths and weaknesses of Gainesville’s audit staff before setting specific plans for the future.

As Gainesville eagerly awaits the appointment of its next city auditor, Mayor Harvey Ward expressed gratitude for the work of interim city auditor Brecka Anderson. Since former auditor Ginger Bigbie’s resignation in November 2022, Anderson has ensured smooth operations within the department. Ward affirmed that Bigbie will continue to contribute in a non-leadership role should she choose to return.

With the decision slated to be made on December 7th, the commission remains optimistic about finding the best fit for the role. The chosen candidate will be offered a salary within the range of $140,000 to $170,000, as reported in Gainesville’s City Auditor Finalist Report.


1. What qualifications do the candidates for Gainesville city auditor possess?

The three final candidates for the Gainesville city auditor position, Thomas Alger, Rory Galter, and Stephen Mhere, bring a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds to the table. They have extensive backgrounds in financial management, auditing, and internal government and education roles.

2. What is the next step in the selection process?

The Gainesville City Commission will meet on December 7th to decide on hiring one of the three candidates. If selected, the commission will gather on December 14th to discuss contracts, and the chosen auditor is expected to commence work in January.

3. What salary range will the Gainesville city auditor be offered?

According to the Gainesville City Auditor Finalist Report, the salary range for the city auditor position is between $140,000 and $170,000.

Massachusetts News

Discover the Vibrant Holiday Events in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester, Massachusetts is gearing up for the holiday season with a lineup of exciting events that are sure to get everyone in the festive spirit. From Christmas fairs to live performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the standout events is the Annual Christmas Fair at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Organized by Our Lady’s Guild, this fair offers visitors the opportunity to browse through a variety of yard sale tables for unique treasures. In addition, attendees can indulge in freshly baked sweet bread and cookies while exploring the selection of jewelry and religious books and gifts. The fair also features numerous raffles, including the chance to win over 60 gift cards from local businesses, and a special appearance by Santa Claus for an unforgettable photo opportunity with children. For more information about this event, contact Beth Fosberry at [email protected] or leave a message at 978-281-4820.

Another event not to be missed is the Hanukkah Pop-up Shop at the Jewish Community Center in Gloucester. This shop offers a wide range of Hanukkah-themed items, including Menorahs, chocolate gelt, decorations, candles, gifts, crafts, dreidels, and more. Visitors can also enjoy fun activities, balloons, and Chanukah refreshments while they shop. Plus, each visitor will receive a free Menorah kit without any purchase necessary. The shop will be open from Sunday, Dec. 3, to Thursday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For other visiting times, please email [email protected] to schedule a visit.

For those who appreciate live music, the Rockport Baptist Church invites you to join them for a series of holiday events. Highlights include Christmas caroling around Rockport on Dec. 10, a Children’s Christmas Pageant on Dec. 17, and Christmas Eve Services on Dec. 24. These events provide an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the joyous spirit of the season.

Whether you’re looking to find unique gifts at a Christmas fair, immerse yourself in the beauty of Hanukkah traditions, or enjoy live music performances, Gloucester, Massachusetts has it all. Don’t miss out on these exciting holiday events happening in your local community. Mark your calendars and make the most of the festive season!


What is the Annual Christmas Fair at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish?

The Annual Christmas Fair at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish is a festive event organized by Our Lady’s Guild. It offers attendees the opportunity to browse through yard sale tables for unique treasures, indulge in freshly baked sweet bread and cookies, and explore a wide selection of jewelry, religious books, and gifts.

What can I find at the Hanukkah Pop-up Shop?

The Hanukkah Pop-up Shop at the Jewish Community Center in Gloucester offers a variety of Hanukkah-themed items, including Menorahs, chocolate gelt, decorations, candles, gifts, crafts, dreidels, and more. Visitors can also enjoy fun activities, balloons, and Chanukah refreshments while they shop.

What holiday events are happening at Rockport Baptist Church?

Rockport Baptist Church is hosting several holiday events, including Christmas caroling around Rockport, a Children’s Christmas Pageant, and Christmas Eve Services. These events provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with the community and enjoy live music performances.

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Worcester: A Thriving College City with Room for Growth

Worcester, known for its impressive lineup of esteemed institutions of higher education, continues to solidify its reputation as a thriving college city. Boasting a public medical university, UMass Chan Medical School, and a private university of pharmacy and health sciences, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester offers students a diverse array of educational opportunities. Additionally, the city is home to Worcester State University, along with private universities such as Assumption, Clark, Holy Cross, and Worcester Polytechnic University (WPI). Quinsigamond Community College also adds to the city’s educational landscape. Undoubtedly, these institutions play a vital role in Worcester’s economic fabric, with their staff, students, and faculty contributing significantly.

A recent comprehensive study of 415 cities across the United States sought to evaluate Worcester’s standing among college towns. The study used 31 different metrics to assess indicators of academic, social, and economic opportunities available to students. According to the study, Worcester secured the 264th spot as the best college town, indicating that while the city has much to offer, there is room for growth and improvement.

Breaking down the rankings further, Worcester placed 228th in wallet friendliness, highlighting areas where the city can work towards making college more affordable for students. In terms of the social environment, Worcester ranked 177th, suggesting potential areas for enhancing the overall college experience in the city. Furthermore, the study placed Worcester at 271st regarding academic and economic opportunities, signaling the need to foster an environment that nurtures intellectual and professional growth.

While the study offers insight into Worcester’s current positioning, it is important to note that rankings are fluid. They serve as a starting point for cities to identify areas of improvement and implement strategic measures accordingly. Worcester’s diverse range of educational institutions, coupled with its vibrant community, creates a strong foundation to address these areas and elevate the city’s standing among college towns in the future.


Q: Which cities were part of the study?
A: The study evaluated 415 cities across the United States.

Q: How were the rankings determined?
A: The rankings were determined using 31 metrics that assessed indicators of academic, social, and economic opportunities for students.

Q: How did Worcester fare in the study?
A: Worcester ranked 264th among college towns, highlighting areas for potential improvement.

Q: What were Worcester’s rankings in specific categories?
A: Worcester ranked 228th in wallet friendliness, 177th in social environment, and 271st in academic and economic opportunities.

Q: What other cities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut were included in the study?
A: The study included cities such as Storrs, Cambridge, Providence, New Haven, Boston, and many more.

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Your Spotify Wrapped 2023 Reveals Unexpected Musical Connections

Spotify Wrapped is back for 2023, giving users a comprehensive look at their music streaming habits. The popular feature allows users to explore their most-streamed artists, songs, albums, and other interesting insights from their year in music. While the core idea remains the same each year, Spotify always manages to add new elements to keep it fresh and exciting. This year, one particular feature has captured the attention of social media users around the world.

In the midst of the in-app presentation, Spotify introduces a slide that reads, “This year, your listening took you places, and one place listened just like you.” To illustrate this, Spotify compares users’ listening habits to those of people in different cities. For example, someone in Portland, Maine might discover that their musical preferences align with those in Berkeley, California. This unexpected connection has sparked conversations and reactions among Spotify users.

The reactions on social media have been both humorous and entertaining. Users have created memes and witty comments, expressing their surprise and amusement at the unlikely musical connections. From Sopranos parodies to jokes about Spotify trying to create different communes based on users’ music taste, the response has been lively.

Berkeley, California, Burlington, Vermont, and Cambridge, Massachusetts have emerged as popular cities mentioned in Spotify Wrapped 2023. Whether it’s the influence of indie artists in Berkeley or the eclectic music scene of Burlington, users have found common ground with these vibrant communities.

While the connections may seem random, it’s a testament to the power of music to bring people together. Spotify Wrapped not only celebrates individual listening habits but also highlights the shared experiences and communities that music creates.


1. What is Spotify Wrapped?

Spotify Wrapped is an annual feature that allows Spotify users to explore their personalized music streaming data for the year. It provides insights into their most-streamed artists, songs, albums, and other interesting statistics.

2. How does Spotify compare my listening habits to different cities?

Spotify analyzes users’ listening data and identifies cities where people have similar music preferences. It then presents users with a comparison, highlighting the connection between their listening habits and those of people in different cities.

3. Why are Berkeley, Burlington, and Cambridge mentioned frequently in Spotify Wrapped 2023?

These cities have emerged as popular references in Spotify Wrapped 2023 due to the alignment of users’ musical preferences with those of people in these locations. The feature aims to showcase unexpected connections and highlight the communal aspects of music.

4. What is the significance of Spotify Wrapped?

Spotify Wrapped is a fun and interactive way for users to reflect on their personal music journey throughout the year. It allows them to discover new artists, revisit old favorites, and share their musical tastes with others.


Massachusetts News

Massachusetts: A Hub of Education and Intellectualism

Massachusetts, a state known for its picturesque landscapes, successful sports teams, and historical landmarks, is also renowned for its exceptional educational institutions. From prestigious colleges to excellent public and private schools, Massachusetts has established itself as a hub of education. Recent findings from consumer analytics company WalletHub have further solidified this reputation, ranking three Massachusetts cities among the most educated in America.

According to WalletHub’s report, Boston, Worcester, and Springfield found their place among the top 100 most educated cities in the United States. Boston secured an impressive sixth position, followed by Worcester at 58 and Springfield at 62. The rankings were based on factors such as the percentage of adults aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree or higher and the quality of public schools in each metropolitan area.

The correlation between higher education levels and higher earning potential became apparent through this study. Graduates tend to earn more, subsequently contributing more in taxes over their lifetime. This positive cycle of educated individuals investing in their communities reinforces the importance of education and attracts like-minded individuals seeking a return on their educational investment.

Moreover, the report shed light on another interesting trend – highly educated individuals often form relationships with those who possess a similar level of education. Cities like Boston, already known for their intellectual population, naturally become attractive destinations for individuals with degrees.

As the study by WalletHub emphasizes, Massachusetts continues to be a beacon of education and intellectualism. The presence of exceptional schools and colleges not only fosters knowledge and innovation but also enhances the overall quality of life in these cities. It comes as no surprise that Massachusetts consistently ranks among the top states for education and continues to attract individuals seeking academic, professional, and personal growth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Which Massachusetts cities were ranked among the most educated in America?

Boston, Worcester, and Springfield were ranked among the most educated cities in America, with Boston securing the sixth position, Worcester at 58, and Springfield at 62.

2. What factors were considered in the rankings?

The rankings were based on two main factors: the percentage of adults aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, as well as the quality of public schools in each metropolitan area.

3. Is there a correlation between education levels and income?

Yes, research indicates a positive correlation between higher education levels and higher earning potential. Graduates generally earn more, contributing more in taxes over their lifetime.

4. Why do highly educated individuals tend to reside in cities with a similar population?

One explanation is that highly educated individuals often form relationships with others who possess a similar level of education. Cities with an existing intellectual population therefore become more attractive to individuals with degrees.

5. What makes Massachusetts a hub of education and intellectualism?

Massachusetts boasts exceptional colleges and universities, along with quality public and private schools. These institutions foster knowledge, innovation, and overall personal growth, attracting individuals seeking academic and professional advancement.

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Top American Cities Ensuring Financial Security for Seniors

Financial security is a crucial aspect that significantly impacts the quality of life among seniors. The latest study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that Americans are now living longer, requiring a larger retirement savings than previous generations. Unfortunately, this has led to some retired individuals running out of money after their retirement, contributing to a decrease in financial security for seniors and giving rise to various economic complications.

In light of these concerns, CEOWORLD magazine conducted an in-depth analysis to explore the financial security of retirees in the 37 largest cities across the United States. This comprehensive study considered factors such as poverty levels, housing costs, income, and government assistance for individuals aged 65 and older.

After evaluating six key metrics that measure the financial well-being of seniors, the cities were ranked accordingly. Here are the top American cities that offer the most financial security for seniors:

1. Mesa, AZ: Mesa secures a top spot across all six metrics, with standout indicators including the lowest percentage of seniors receiving food stamps or SNAP benefits (5.50%) and the highest rate of homeownership among seniors (79.60%). Additionally, Mesa boasts a relatively affordable housing market compared to the median senior income ($53,380).

2. Louisville, KY: Louisville excels in terms of private retirement income, with the highest percentage of seniors (25.80%) receiving such benefits in addition to Social Security. It also has the second-lowest percentage of seniors burdened by housing costs (29.14%) and comparatively lower poverty rates (15.80%).

3. Oklahoma City, OK: Although not leading in any particular metric, Oklahoma City offers a well-rounded financial security package for seniors. The average total retirement income is $46,005, with nearly four in five seniors owning their homes and only 15.80% experiencing poverty.

4. Indianapolis, IN: With low poverty rates (15.40%), high homeownership rates (76.00%), and affordable housing costs compared to income (26.85%), Indianapolis provides a stable financial environment for retirees. The average senior income, including Social Security and private retirement income, reaches $43,802.

5. Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque stands out for the lowest percentage of income dedicated to housing costs (24.26%) and the second-highest rate of seniors with private retirement income (25.20%). Although the poverty rates are slightly higher (16.00%), the city’s seniors benefit from a lower reliance on food stamps or SNAP benefits (12.90%).


Q: How were the cities ranked in terms of financial security for seniors?
A: The cities were evaluated based on six metrics, including poverty levels, housing costs, income, and government assistance for individuals aged 65 and older.

Q: Why is financial security important for seniors?
A: Financial security plays a vital role in ensuring the overall quality of life for seniors, influencing their access to healthcare, housing, and other essential needs.

Q: What factors contribute to financial security for seniors?
A: Factors such as retirement savings, access to pensions and social security, affordable housing, and low poverty rates are crucial for maintaining financial security among seniors.

Q: Are there any other notable cities in the study?
A: Yes, other notable cities that rank high in terms of financial security for seniors include Kansas City, MO; Tucson, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; Nashville, TN; and Fort Worth, TX.

In conclusion, these top American cities go above and beyond to provide financial security for their senior residents. By considering various metrics, such as income, housing costs, and government assistance, these cities have created an environment that ensures seniors can enjoy a secure and comfortable retirement.

Energy Massachusetts News

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund Provides Warmth to Families in Need

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund continues its mission of providing energy assistance to households in temporary financial crisis. In their recently concluded “Give the Gift of Warmth” campaign for 2022-2023, the Fund raised an impressive $755,564 in contributions, surpassing its fundraising goal of $500,000. This substantial amount enabled them to offer energy assistance to 1,592 households in need.

Chairperson of the 2023-2024 Good Neighbor Energy Fund campaign, Marie McCabe, expressed gratitude to the Fund’s sponsoring energy companies, their customers, and members of the corporate community for their unwavering support in exceeding the fundraising goal. Despite the challenges posed by inflation, the community’s generosity shone through, ensuring that the Fund can continue its vital work.

Families in temporary financial crisis often find themselves without the means to pay for their energy bills, making the Good Neighbor Energy Fund their last resort. The Fund works closely with the Salvation Army Massachusetts Division, which administers the program, to provide direct payments to energy providers on behalf of eligible households. These households must have a total gross yearly income falling between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels.

For the 2023-2024 season, the Fund aims to disburse $400 per eligible household per heating season. Applications are now being accepted from all households that meet the eligibility criteria for assistance. The importance of this aid cannot be overstated, as it ensures that vulnerable families have access to essential heating during the colder months.

Since its establishment in 1985, the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund has raised an astounding $24.5 million, benefiting over 94,850 families in need. This ongoing support not only helps households in crisis pay their energy expenses but also brings a ray of warmth and hope into their lives.

For more information about the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund and how you can contribute to this worthy cause, please visit

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible for assistance from the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund?
The Fund provides energy assistance to households in temporary financial crisis in Massachusetts. Eligibility is determined based on the household’s total gross yearly income, which must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels.

2. How much financial assistance does the Fund provide?
For the 2023-2024 heating season, the Fund aims to disburse $400 per eligible household.

3. How can I contribute to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund?
If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, you can visit the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund’s website at for more information on how to make a donation.

4. How long has the Fund been providing assistance?
The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund was established in 1985 and has since raised over $24.5 million, helping thousands of families in need with their energy expenses.

Massachusetts News

Communities Across Massachusetts Struggle to Recruit Snowplow Drivers

Cities and towns across Massachusetts are facing challenges in their efforts to hire snowplow drivers as winter approaches. From Attleboro to Hingham to Worcester, municipalities are scrambling to fill positions before the first winter storm hits.

According to Worcester’s Public Works & Parks director, Jay Fink, the struggle to recruit snowplow drivers is reflective of the limited pool of available drivers and equipment, as well as the difficulty in finding parts to repair equipment when it breaks down. To attract more drivers, Worcester raised its snowplow wages by up to 30% last year, allowing drivers to make up to $200 per hour depending on the equipment they use. In addition, the city is offering sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for those who apply by a certain deadline.

However, the competition with MassDOT, the state’s transportation department, makes it even more challenging for cities and towns to recruit drivers. MassDOT often pays more and has greater access to advertising resources, such as highway signs.

As of now, Worcester has filled 183 positions out of 350 available. Fink expects that number to increase by the end of the week and to spike further when the first major storm is forecasted. If they still fall short, Fink reassures the community that the job will still get done, albeit with some delays. He calls for patience and emphasizes that municipalities are all in the same boat, with limited resources to combat snowstorms.

Overall, the struggle to recruit snowplow drivers highlights the need for increased investment in resources and infrastructure to better prepare for the winter season. Without an adequate workforce, communities risk longer response times and potentially unsafe road conditions during snow events.


Why are communities struggling to find snowplow drivers?

Communities in Massachusetts are facing difficulties in hiring snowplow drivers due to a shortage of available drivers and equipment. They also compete with higher-paying positions offered by the state’s transportation department, which has greater resources for advertising.

How is Worcester trying to attract more snowplow drivers?

Worcester increased its snowplow wages by up to 30% last year, allowing drivers to make up to $200 per hour depending on the equipment they use. The city is also offering sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for those who apply by a specific deadline.

What happens if communities can’t fill all the snowplow positions?

In the event that all positions cannot be filled, municipalities like Worcester reassured the public that they will still be able to handle snow removal, although it may take slightly longer. Municipalities share a level of confidence that they will get through any snowstorm, even with limited resources.

Massachusetts News

Discover Lenox: A Hidden Winter Wonderland in Western Massachusetts

Winter is a season that divides opinion. While some people dread the dropping temperatures and the falling snow, others see it as an opportunity to embrace the holiday season and discover the beauty that comes with it. If you’re seeking a picturesque winter retreat, look no further than the charming town of Lenox in western Massachusetts. Nestled in the heart of Berkshire County, Lenox has recently been recognized as one of the most beautiful winter towns in the United States.

Lenox may be known for its unique downtown and the famous Tanglewood music venue, but it is during winter that the town truly shines. According to Travel + Leisure, Lenox offers a snow-dusted wonderland, with stunning scenery and a range of cultural activities to enjoy. Museums, theaters, and music halls come alive with captivating events, making Lenox an enchanting choice for winter explorations.

One of the reasons why Lenox ranks among the top winter getaways is its proximity to multiple ski areas. A short drive away, adventure enthusiasts can find Bousquet Ski Area, Ski Butternut, and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. These ski destinations cater to both beginners and seasoned skiers, ensuring a thrilling experience for all.

So, if you’re in search of a nearby winter retreat, why not consider Lenox? Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, Lenox offers the perfect setting for a memorable winter escape. From its snow-draped landscapes to its vibrant cultural scene, this hidden gem in western Massachusetts promises to captivate and inspire.

Q: Why is Lenox considered one of the most beautiful winter towns in the U.S.?
A: Lenox offers snow-dusted scenery and a thriving cultural scene with museums, theaters, and music halls.

Q: What are some nearby ski areas in Lenox?
A: Bousquet Ski Area, Ski Butternut, and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort are all within a short driving distance from Lenox.

Q: Is Lenox suitable for beginners and experienced skiers?
A: Yes, the ski areas near Lenox cater to both beginners and seasoned skiers.

Q: What other attractions are there in Lenox during winter?
A: In addition to skiing, Lenox also offers charming downtown shops, cozy cafes, and festive events during the winter season.

Massachusetts News

Discover the Enchanting Christmas Destinations in Massachusetts

As December approaches, the holiday season is about to kick off with festive celebrations all around. Whether it’s a work Christmas party or a holiday festival, Massachusetts offers an array of enchanting destinations to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. According to a renowned travel publication, ‘The Travel,’ Massachusetts boasts two spots that have been recognized as some of the most beautiful destinations to celebrate Christmas on the east coast of the United States.

Nantucket, a small and remote island off the coast of Cape Cod, secured the 10th position on the list. This charming island is well-known for its dune-backed beaches and picturesque unpainted cedar-shingled houses. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Nantucket transforms into a lively hub of holiday festivities. The town radiates with joy as traditional tree lighting, infectious carol singing, and the highly anticipated Annual Christmas Stroll captivate visitors. The event showcases people dressed in Victorian garb and a European market offering authentic goods.

Another Massachusetts gem that made it to the list is none other than the vibrant city of Boston. Ranked at number 5, Boston exudes holiday cheer with its extravagant decorations. The city hosts numerous tree and holiday lighting events, starting from late November. From the iconic Boston Common and Columbus Park Trellis to Copley Square and the State House, Boston dazzles visitors with its festive splendor. Furthermore, Boston becomes an ideal destination for an overnight stay during December, as European-style Holiday Markets spring up throughout the city, showcasing a wide range of wares from antique knickknacks to New England-style handiwork.

With their breathtaking beauty and festive ambiance, both Nantucket and Boston offer unforgettable Christmas experiences. Whether you prefer a secluded island retreat or the bustling city life, Massachusetts has something to offer everyone during this magical time of year.


1. What are the two spots in Massachusetts recognized as beautiful Christmas destinations?

The two spots are Nantucket and Boston.

2. What is special about celebrating Christmas in Nantucket?

Nantucket offers a quaint and charming Christmas experience, featuring tree lighting, carol singing, the Annual Christmas Stroll, and a European market selling authentic goods.

3. How does Boston transform during the holiday season?

Boston dresses up in extravagant holiday decorations and hosts various tree and holiday lighting events. The city also features European-style Holiday Markets, making it an ideal destination for an overnight stay and shopping for unique wares.