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Nantucket Annual Christmas Stroll
December 2 - December 4, 2011
Imagine - crisp sea air spiced with wood smoke drifts through a historic village’s cobblestoned streets festively lined with decorated trees and warmly lit shops, while church bells chime familiar carols… the holiday season on Nantucket is magical.
Affectionately named Nantucket Noel, the holiday festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Community Caroling. Everyone gathers at the top of Main Street to watch over 100 Christmas trees come alive with color and light. Caroling follows, filling the air with sounds of an old fashioned Christmas. School children, youth groups and non-profit organizations join with island businesses to decorate the trees in time for Christmas Stroll the following weekend.
Now in its 38th year, Christmas Stroll Weekend is held the weekend after Thanksgiving. The 2011 Christmas Stroll will take place on December 2 – 4. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on Saturday via Coast Guard vessel and are escorted up Straight Wharf by the Town Crier to a waiting horse and carriage. They parade up to the Pacific National Bank where they meet with eagerly awaiting children. Those in line are entertained by the Magical Talking Tree, while carolers in period costume, bell ringers, student choirs and more perform on Main Street. Holiday craft shows, exhibitions and performances – including the popular annual Christmas House tour on Friday evening – add to the joyful festivities.
Holiday contests encourage creativity as people participate in events such as the Holiday Window, Doorway and Tree Decorating Contests. Events continue throughout the month and many island shops, lodgings and restaurants remain open through New Year’s Eve. (Accommodations can book well in advance for Stroll Weekend, so be sure to make your reservations early.)