Its ‘Home for the Holidays’, an experience that captures small-town Christmas spirit. Holiday wreaths, twinkle lights, and Christmas trees decorate the little village of Stockbridge, MA, a town which Norman Rockwell once called it the best of America, the best of New England. On the first weekend of December each year the town celebrates Rockwell’s Christmas painting in motion with activities that bring locals and visitors alike home for the holidays.
One of the more popular events is the holiday house tour which takes place on Saturday of the weekend “We welcome visitors from all over the country, even from all over the world into our homes, as part of our celebration of Christmas. These houses are carefully selected to delight and sometimes to even amaze you”, says local historian & author Dr. Carole Owens. The self-guided tour features some of the area’s finest Berkshire Cottages and private homes decorated in holiday attire.
The musical highlight of the weekend takes place on Saturday evening with over 100 carolers rejoicing with songs of the season from the porch of the Red Lion Inn. They proceed through a luminous walkway to the First Congregational Church where The Berkshire Lyric performs annually to a full house.
Capping off the weekend on Sunday the town reenacts the spirit of Norman Rockwell’s famous holiday scene Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. The original painting hangs in the Norman Rockwell Museum located just a few miles outside of town. What happens on Main Street isn’t an exact reenactment of the painting as there were only 16 cars in the painting and the street, which is closed to traffic, features over 50 vintage automobiles. Near the center of the block, a Christmas tree fills the oversized window of once Rockwell’s second-floor studio. Roger the Jester performs on one end of the street while, horse drawn rides and visits with Santa take place on the other end. Music fills the air with the local High School performing in Saint Paul’s Church and the Londontown Carolers singing on the front porch of the Red Lion Inn. Children enjoy treats from the Pocket Lady and holiday art at Santa’s Workshop offered by the Norman Rockwell Museum. Everyone enjoys taking photo ops with Norman Rockwell in a triple self-portrait selfie or shows their face in a Norman Rockwell Painting. And who can resist food delights offered at the Christmas Café sponsored by the Red Lion Inn. If it’s possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never lived in, it’s most likely to happen in Stockbridge, MA during their Main Street at Christmas annual events.
Each December the event, organized by the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce, brings back the nostalgia of Christmas past in order to delight visitors and locals. The 26th annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas weekend takes place December 4-6, 2015. For more information and tickets visit StockbridgeChamber.org or call 413-298-5200.