New Year's Resolutions
with a Downtown Twist
With a new year comes new intentions. Whether your resolutions are personal, professional, or you’re just looking to shake things up, you can work on achieving them right here in Downtown Worcester. To help you reach your 2023 goals, we’ve rounded up a list of five of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and their Downtown solutions. 
1. Take care of your body and mind. 
Improving health and wellness is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution year after year, and Downtown is a great place to start. For physical fitness with a built-in community, check out November Project, a FREE weekly outdoor workout with zero intimidation and zero pressure. The movement started in Boston and now has groups in 58 locations around the world. November Project Worcester meets every Wednesday morning, bringing their moves to the Worcester Common Oval during the winter months with sessions at 5:20 a.m. or 6:20 a.m. Follow them on Instagram for updates or just show up!  
The YWCA is another great option to help you get stronger. To strengthen your body, there’s everything from one-on-one personal training to group classes like yoga, cycling, boxing, or aquatic fitness. To strengthen your mind, sign up for a meditation class. 
To fuel yourself with the good stuff, try Coco Vibez and Ohana, both at the Worcester Regional Food Hub’s Marketplace at 446 Main Street, or Woo Juice coming soon to the Midtown Mall. 
To soothe the soul, check out the Worcester Public Library’s De-Stress with Dogs sessions or visit SeaGrass Therapies for massage and other restorative treatments. 
2. Learn a new skill. 
There are plenty of outlets to help you master your craft or try a new hobby Downtown. Hands-on creators will love Technocopia, the 12,000-square-foot makerspace with a common workspace, individual rental bays, a variety of workshops, and shared tools for aspiring makers. 
To embrace your inner performer, sign up for a class at The Hanover Theatre & Conservatory. They offer instruction for beginners to advanced students of all ages, with classes like ballet, improv, acting, public speaking, and more. 
You can also practice your live performance skills at Worcester Beer Garden’s open mic nights on the second Wednesday of every month! Music, comedy, and poetry are all welcome. 
The Worcester Public Library is not only a great place to research a new pastime, they also offer dozens of classes and workshops in everything from creative writing and sewing to genealogy and Zumba, and lots in between. 
3. Travel more. 
Want to get away in 2023? Look to Downtown Worcester! Book a trip anywhere in the world with Alpha Travel, one of the leading travel agencies in New England. They will tailor your travel experience with trip packages to popular cities, both domestic and international. 
Explore things closer to home with a weekend staycation at Downtown’s AC Hotel for a fun, in-town getaway with all the perks of the city. It’s just steps from the Worcester Common, DCU Center, and many sought-after dining spots. 
Or take a trip to Broadway right here in Worcester this January! Broadway in Worcester is bringing Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara to the BrickBox theater on Friday and Saturday, January 6 and 7. 

4. Enhance your career. 
Professional growth or career changes are often top of mind at the start of the year, and there are lots of interesting job opportunities Downtown. The City of Worcester is on a mission to hire more talent for its team. They have open roles in Human Resources, Economic Development, Communications, Public Health and more. 
Interested in events and hospitality? The DCU Center has a list of openings.
For aspiring food entrepreneurs, the Worcester Regional Food Hub is recruiting for its Launching Diverse Food Entrepreneurs” program. Learn more and get support with business planning, food safety training, hourly kitchen rentals, and market access. Participants will have a licensed food business when they complete the program. The application deadline for the next session is Friday, January 6. 
5. Spend more time with friends and family. 
Downtown is the perfect place to enjoy a day or night with the ones you love. Meet up for coffee and conversation at Brew on the Grid, Fortissimo Coffee, or Fuel, then take a stroll through the Worcester Common. Wander the galleries ArtsWorcester together or see what’s on display at the JMAC’s permanent pop-up. Plan a dinner date at dozens of Downtown restaurants with flavors from around the globe — enjoy a taste of Asia at the family-owned Oishi Japanese Restaurant or Chashu Ramen + Izakaya, explore spices of the Mediterranean at Shawarma Palace, or take your tastebuds South at Addie Lee’s Soul Food.  

For families, the Worcester Public Library has tons of kid-friendly activities and teen programs. And don’t forget to mark your family calendar for the Downtown Worcester Winter Festival on Saturday, February 4! 
Behind the Scenes:
Making of the Festival of Lights
Q&A with Amy Nyman of New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill
The annual Festival of Lights on the Worcester Common kicks off the holiday season Downtown. The installation, a collaboration between City of Worcester, the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), and New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (NEBG), lights up the city from December to February, thanks to hours of planning, thousands of bulbs, and a whole lot of imagination. 
Amy Nyman, Horticulture Outreach Manager at NEBG, shared the inside scoop on what it took to pull off this year’s lighting spectacle Downtown. 
Q: When did your planning for this year’s Festival of Lights begin? What were the first steps? 
A: “NEBG, the Downtown Worcester BID and the Worcester Cultural Coalition started talking at the end of August 2022 about this year’s installation and possible themes. We talked about how we could use the greenhouse arches differently than in the past, and where we could place them to get color and light throughout the Common. The arches are necessary so that we have a structure that can stand independently without placing stakes in the ground.”
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for this year’s light installations? 
A: “With this year being Worcester’s Tercentennial, it seemed natural to come up with ideas that celebrate Worcester’s history or relevant icons. Some ideas, like the invention of the monkey-wrench, just seemed too difficult to convey in string lights, so we stuck with more recognizable icons, like a rocket, valentines, and smiley faces.” 
Q: What was the trickiest part to execute? What made it challenging? 
A: “There were a lot of individual pieces that needed to be hung and some of those were very heavy. It took some brainstorming and lots of hands to get the big smiley face and Worcester 300 hung on the arches.” 
Q: What part was the most fun for you personally? 
A: “I really enjoy the design process and figuring out how to execute a project. I also like to work together with the horticulture staff on a team project like this. My favorite pieces this year are the astronauts floating among the stars and the huge, five-foot smiley face. Everyone has their own favorite, though, and that, too, is part of the fun.” 
Q: Many people consider the Festival of Lights to be an official kick-off to the holiday season. What do you think makes this event and light installation such a staple in our community? 
A: “I think it’s important that the Festival of Lights is free, accessible to everyone, and lasts through the coldest and darkest months of the winter. It’s fun to see so many Worcester residents show up, have fun, and get in the spirit of the season. People are really happy when the lights get turned on. If we can bring a few more smiles to peoples’ faces, then we’ve done a good job.”
Now Open or Coming Soon to Downtown
Help us welcome several new businesses to the neighborhood...
Ziggy Bombs: Ziggy Bombs is now officially open on Franklin Street, serving Ziggy’s specialty steak and cheese subs—even late night!
La Central Bakery & Café: Husband and wife duo Jessica and José celebrated their official Grand Opening earlier this month, serving Puerto Rican-style pastries, breads, sandwiches, subs, and wraps and more at 422 Main Street. 
Forbidden Imprint Tattoo Shop: The all-female artists at Forbidden Imprint opened “the most memorable tattoo shop in Worcester” at 509 Main Street. Walk-ins are welcome!
Concrete Collection: The Midtown Mall gains an upscale thrift shop with the highly anticipated opening of Concrete Collection.
Woo Juice: You can soon enjoy fresh-pressed juices and smoothies in the Midtown Mall, thanks to our friends at Woo Juice! Keep an eye out for updates.
DoHo Café & Donut Bar: Another addition coming to the Midtown Mall, Doughnut Homies will open their brick-and-mortar DoHo Café & Donut Bar where you can create your own doughnuts! Follow them for updates.
Upcoming Events
Featured Event: The BID will be hosting the Downtown Worcester Winter Festival, presented by Perrone Landscaping, Saturday, February 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Worcester Common. There will be ice skating, ice sculptures, curling, local food, a performance artist, and more! We’ll also be collecting food donations for Woo Fridge at the event.
Interested in becoming a festival sponsor? We’d love to team up to promote this popular Downtown event and your business! To find out more about our available sponsorship opportunities, get in touch with BID Program Manager Andrew McShane by January 6. 
More Local Events

BrickBox Theater 
Worcester Public Library 
Cirque du Soleil Corteo | January 1215 
The DCU Center 
Shen Yun | January 1415 
The Hanover Theatre & Conservatory for the Performing Arts 
Save the Date: January Community Meeting 
The BID’s January Community Meeting is Friday, January 13, from 9 to 10 a.m., at Ziggy Bombs, 72 Franklin Street. Network with Downtown neighbors and grab a bite, courtesy of Ziggy! All are welcome. 
November Street Report
From removing leaves to cleaning street debris and more, find out what our Ambassadors were up to last month in our November Street Report.
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