This weekend begins the holiday season in earnest. Christmas lights, Santa Claus, hot chocolate and Christmas spirit will be everywhere.
Here are some events you won’t want to miss over the next few weekends if you need a little Christmas cheer or want to spread some yourself. Check our Happenings pages, 5, 8, 9, for more events.
Benoit Square Lighting
Fri., 12/1, at 6:30 p.m. in Benoit Square, opposite 267 Adams Street, Fairhaven. Sponsored by the North Fairhaven Improvement Association, the annual lighting of Benoit Square will feature a visit by Santa Claus, singing in the square, and the lighting of the Christmas lights.
Join us on Fri. 12/1, for a sing-along beginning at 6:30, where Adams Street and Main Street intersect with Howland Road. Showstoppers will be joining us to lead the singing and we hope you will too.
Wed., 12/6, at 10 a.m. in the auditorium downstairs of the Millicent Library, 45 Center St. (Walnut St. entrance), Fairhaven;
The Millicent Library presents A Nutcracker Journey with Kay Hanley Alden, a local dance teacher and choreographer, on The program is open to 3-5 year olds with siblings welcome, and is limited to 20 participants. Please sign up with Ms. Jane.
On this journey, the children will visit faraway places and do movement exploration with the music of the Nutcracker, acting and dancing the parts of the Sugar Plum Fairies, Waltz of the Flowers and the guests from lands faraway: China, Arabia, Spain and Russia. Dance props bring this program to life.
Kay Hanley Alden, a dance educator, traveled throughout Europe and Asia, taking part in dance exchange programs as well as giving workshops in the United States and Canada and wherever dance took her. She remains active at the Boston Conservatory, where she studied and remains active on the Alumni Board.
“My philosophy is that by developing better motor skills through music children gain confidence. This carries over into their daily sports activities.”
Children enjoyed Ms. Alden’s May Pole program this past spring. The program is free.
The Millicent Library is accessible. Please contact Jane Murphy, Youth Services Librarian, if you would like to register or have any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-992-5342.
20th annual Old-Time Holiday
Get into the spirit of the holidays and find an array of holiday gifts, food, music, and old-fashioned good cheer by visiting Fairhaven on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10, for the 20th annual Old-Time Holiday in the historical town center. Over the years it has become one of Fairhaven’s favorite events.
In December 1998, the Fairhaven Office of Tourism first launched what was then called the “Very Victorian Holiday,” bringing together about thirty non-profit, school, and church groups to create a weekend filled with old-fashioned holiday events. Previously, independent groups had held fairs, bazaars, concerts, luncheons, house tours, sing-alongs, and other activities over the course of several weeks between mid-November and Christmas. What was different in 1998 was that most of those events were moved to a single weekend and promoted as one big, holiday package, wrapped in a Victorian theme, with the public able to walk from location to location in the center of town.
“It was during my second year as the town’s Tourism Director when two women suggested the idea of a weekend festival,” says Christopher Richard, who coordinates and promotes the event. “Millicent Allen and Helen Radcliffe were both enthusiastic about holiday strolls and similar events they had seen in other communities. The churches and civic organizations were very cooperative in putting it together that first year. A few weeks after the first Victorian Holiday took place, I held a meeting where the representatives of all the different groups more or less unanimously decided it should become an annual event.”
The weekend slate of activities has been repeated every year since, with the only change being the switch of the name from “Victorian” to “Old-Time” so that it was not bound to a specific historical time period.
Holiday Fair with handmade crafts, baked goods, holiday greens
As always, most of the Old-Time Holiday events take place during the day on Saturday, December 9. Both the First Congregational Church, 34 Center Street, and the Unitarian Memorial Church, 102 Green Street, will hold fairs, with church members and outside vendors displaying a wide variety of items for sale. In a similar vein, about 25 of the town’s non-profit and school groups will have tables in the auditorium of the Town Hall, 40 Center Street. At these locations you’ll find handmade crafts, gifts, holiday greens, delicious baked goods, gift baskets, silent auction items to bid on, and more.
Entertainment and children’s activities
In the Town Hall there will also be face painting and a few children’s activities along with live music performed by Fairhaven Music students. All three fairs run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Unitarian Church, a magnificent English-Gothic style “cathedral,” will also give guided tours of the sanctuary during the day.
The Millicent Library, 45 Center Street, will hold a book fair with many local authors signing and selling their books. From 10:00 to 2:00, authors will take turns presenting short readings from their works. It is a great way to support local writers and find great gifts for the readers on your list.
Cookies and Santa
A short walk away, the lobby of the beautiful, Tudor style Our Lady’s Haven, 71 Center Street, will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for visits and photos with Santa. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.
As lunch time rolls around, food will be available at three locations. A lobster roll luncheon will be held at the First Congregational Church. A soup and sandwich luncheon will take place at the Harrop Center 47 Center Street, an Elizabethan style cottage on the Unitarian Church property. On the Town Hall lawn, Boy Scout Troop 52 will be selling hotdogs, and in the first floor banquet room of the Town Hall the North Fairhaven Improvement Association will serve hot soups.
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Fairhaven Improvement Association hosts its annual Sing-Along on the steps of Town Hall. There will be caroling and the arrival of Santa on a fire engine. Then hot chocolate and snacks will be available inside in the auditorium.
Holiday House Tours
On Sunday, December 10, the Fairhaven Historical Society sponsors a Holiday House Tour from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, available at the Millicent Library, 40 Center Street, or Euro, 24 Center Street, Fairhaven. Or they may be ordered online at https:// holidayhousetour2017.eventbrite.com
On the day of the tour, tickets are $25, and are to be purchased at the Academy Building, 141 Main Street, which is the starting location of the tour, where you must pick up your map. For more information, email email@example.com
Service of Lessons & Carols
The final event of the weekend is a Service of Lessons and Carols at the Unitarian Memorial Church on Sunday, December 10, at 4:00 p.m. It features seasonal readings and music by the church choir, under the direction of Dwight Thomas. All are welcome. Donations are accepted.
During Fairhaven’s 20th annual Old-Time Holiday, people of all ages from throughout the SouthCoast area can find something to put them into the holiday spirit.
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