The Mansfield Downtown Partnership invites residents and visitors to celebrate the new season at its 7th Annual Winter Welcome this Saturday in Downtown Storrs! This free event is open to everyone and will take place rain, snow, or shine. Winter Welcome will start at 3:00 PM and continue through 6:00 PM. For a full schedule of activities, please visit downtownstorrs.org/winterwelcome. At 3:00 PM, the UConn Marching Band Tubas will escort a special, jolly guest to Barnes & Noble UConn (1 Royce Circle). Santa Claus will visit with friends and pose for photos until 5:00 PM in the bookstore. In addition to sales and specials at participating businesses, there will be two interactive performances by The Snow Queen, presented by Wonderland Parties, at 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM and a special, narrated preview of The Nutcracker, A Community Production presented by the Mansfield Community Center and Miss Kelly Productions at 4:00 PM. All three performances will be on Betsy Paterson Square. Strolling musicians and carolers, including The Chordials, Consonare Choral Community, Drop the Bass, Husky Hungama, the Mansfield Middle School Chamber Choir, and The Rolling Tones, will delight visitors with pop-up performances throughout the downtown. At 5:00 PM, the E. O. Smith Choirs will lead a Community Sing-Along on Paterson Square to cap off the festivities. Everyone is invited to join in! During this year’s Winter Welcome, Mansfield Resident Troopers will collect donations of unwrapped toys and gift cards as part of their annual Stuff-a-Cruiser effort. They will be on Paterson Square throughout the event. The toys and gift cards will be donated directly to families in need in Mansfield by the Town of Mansfield Human Services Department. Parking is available in the Downtown Storrs Parking Garage, which is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. The walk from the garage to Betsy Paterson Square takes approximately 2 minutes.