41st Annual Christmas Stroll- "A Victorian Christmas"
If you could conjure the quintessential Yuletide experience.....cobblestone streets lined with glittering fir trees, strolling carolers in Victorian garb, the scent of wood smoke wafting through a bustling, European-style marketplace, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeting wide-eyed children beside a glowing hearth.... this picture-perfect backdrop is what makes Nantucket's annual Christmas Stroll Weekend a truly enchanting experience.
Affectionately dubbed Nantucket Noel, holiday festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Community Caroling. Locals and visitors alike gather at the top of Main Street at dusk to watch over 100 Christmas trees magically come alive in a blaze of colored light. Joyous caroling fills the air, led by Nantucket High School's youth choir, the Accidentals & Naturals. (Be sure to download the new Nantucket Arts App on your Smartphone to follow along with the lyrics). 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 41st year, Christmas Stroll Weekend will take place from December 5th through 7th. Santa Claus arrives on Saturday via Coast Guard vessel and is escorted up Straight Wharf by the Town Crier to a special conveyance. Heralded by a brass quintet, he will parade up Main Street and across Centre Street to the historic Jared Coffin House where he'll meet with eagerly awaiting children. Children of all ages are entertained by the Magical Talking Tree at the top of Main Street, while carolers in period costume, student choirs and more. Holiday craft shows, exhibitions and performances – including the ever-popular Christmas House tour on Friday evening – add to the festivities. Also, don't miss the 21st Annual Festival of Trees running throughout December at the Whaling Museum.
When you arrive on island, please visit the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce at Zero Main Street, second floor (above Cape Cod Five Bank) for a copy of the 2014 Official Stroll Program available in late November. A merchandise and information table will also be set up outside our building on Stroll Saturday from 9-3PM. We also sell a beautiful Stroll ornament throughout the year, or a Stroll knit cap, which you can buy online by clicking here. See below for all Chamber-sponsored events, or go to our online event calendar to view all our members' events on that day by clicking here.
10AM-3PM NANTUCKET’S OWN CHRISTMAS MARKET! Europeans celebrate the Yuletide season with an Advent market that fills the Town Square. This is where the romance of Christmas comes alive in grand tradition-the aroma of hot food wafts through the cold air as shoppers pause to enjoy some refreshment, perhaps take part in a game or two, and survey crafted gifts and merchandise. Our community non-profit organizations bring the age old tradition to life in our own version of the Christmas Marketplace. Foot of Main Street.
10AM-1:30PM “PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD” STOREFRONT & TREE DECORATING CONTEST. Stroll through Town to admire the gaily decorated trees and storefronts. Then, place your vote for your favorite in our annual “People’s Choice Award”. Stop by the Chamber Information Table at Zero Main Street between 10AM-1:30PM for information on participating stores and to pick up a ballot! Click here for a complete list of participating stores.
10:30-11:45AM MAIN STREET STAGE ENTERTAINMENT. Stop by the stage to enjoy special eclectic performances by Susan Berman, the Young Actors Holiday Chorus of the Dreamland Foundation and Carolyn Butler & Kids from Nantucket Community Music Center on piano (listed in order of appearance). For exact times, click here.
11AM-12PM ATHENEUM ENTERTAINMENT. With so much to see, new venues such as the Nantucket Atheneum will host special acts including Susan Berman and Abada-Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts. Be sure to stop by their Garden while shopping beautiful Federal Street!
11:45AM TOWN CRIER RINGS IN CHRISTMAS STROLL! Gather at the Main Street stage to help the Town Crier ring in our 40th Stroll and then follow him down to Straight Wharf to welcome Santa!
12:15PM SANTA CLAUS ARRIVES! Gather at Straight Wharf to see Santa arrive via Coast Guard cutter, and follow a very special parade, heralded by trumpeters Bobby Earle & Ann Maury, Justin Hudak on trombone, Nathan McMullen on French horn & Bruce Beebe on tuba. Santa’s parade travels up Main Street and across Centre Street to the Jared Coffin House. He visits with children from 1-3 P.M. Doors close promptly at 3 P.M.
12:30PM-2PM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NANTUCKET SLEIGH RIDE. Take a Nantucket-style Sleigh Ride and board shuttles following a route around our festive island to mid-island locations offering unique activities, live demonstrations, refreshments and terrific offers! Feel free to take your own transportation and visit Marine Home Center, Bartlett’s Farm and Cisco Brewer, or hop on the shuttles leaving from the Greenhound Building (10-12 Washington Street). Shuttles depart at 12:30, 1:15 and 2:00 p.m. for an approximately 2 ½ hour ride- $20/adults. Stop by the Chamber Information Table at Zero Main Street from 10-1:30 for more details, or click here.
1PM-3PM MAGICAL TALKING TREE. Children, young and old, have long been mystified by our famous Talking Tree. Be sure to visit our talking tree, beautifully decorated for our 40th Stroll by local artists Donna Elle & Deb Sosebee, and see if your wish for the holiday season will be granted!
1PM-3PM ENTERTAINMENT AT THE JARED COFFIN HOUSE. For the first time, the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce will host special entertainment at this venue during Santa’s visit, 29 Broad St. Whether waiting in line to see Santa or shopping on Centre and Broad Streets, be sure to check out these fabulous acts: Abada-Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts, Carolyn Butler & Kids from Nantucket Community Music Center and Accidentals and Naturals High School Performance Choir. Sponsored by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, www.nantucketchamber.orgt. 508-228-1700
1PM-4:45PM MAIN STREET STAGE ENTERTAINMENT. Sensational acts abound on the Main Street stage this year…you’ll want to see them all! Enjoy great entertainment all afternoon (in order of appearance): Nantucket Boys & Girls Club Choir, Jacob Butler, Guitarist, Victorian Carolers, PJ Moody, Accidentals & Naturals, Abada-Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts, Stars Youth Chorale, and Dance Works.
1:45-2:15PM VICTORIAN COSTUME CONTEST. Our Christmas Stroll offers the quintessential Yuletide experience-conjuring images straight from Dickens. What better way to add to the theme of holidays gone by than with your own traditional Victorian garb? Deck your whole family or friends and stroll over to the Main Street stage, where our very own Victorian Carolers will judge the best costumes!
4:45-5:15PM COMMUNITY SING-ALONG WITH THE VICTORIAN CAROLERS. Join our world- renowned Victorian Carolers for a very special sing-along on the steps of Pacific National Bank at the top of Main Street. Sponsored by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.
PEGGY & PHIL READ
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