Nantucket’s 2011 Christmas Stroll Weekend, held December 2-4, is a bright beacon of holiday spirit, when the famous coastal community attracts visitors by ferry and plane to a weekend of seasonal merriment. Each cobblestone street is brightened with imaginatively decorated trees of every kind, from traditional trees glimmering with ornaments to humorous whimsical designs. All are decorated by school children, youth groups, and nonprofit organizations working hand in hand with island businesses. Window boxes in front of almost every shop are filled with scented holiday evergreens, colorful bows, and decorative splashes. After the trees blaze with light, crowds fill the cool seaside air with the musical joy of old-fashioned holiday songs.
On Saturday, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by sea aboard a Coast Guard vessel. The couple is escorted up Straight Wharf by an old-fashioned town crier to a horse and carriage. Then the pair parade up to the Pacific National Bank at the top of the island’s Main Street, past the carolers, bell ringers, and student choirs, to meet with eagerly awaiting children. Holiday craft shows, exhibitions and performances—including the popular annual Christmas House tour on Friday evening—add to the festivities.
The stroll is a highlight of the island’s Nantucket Noël festivities, which begin the Friday, November 25, with a festive Christmas tree lighting ceremony. A cheerful holiday crowd gathers at the top of Main Street to watch over 100 Christmas trees throughout the picturesque seaside village come alive with color and light. Events continue throughout December and many island restaurants, shops, and inns remain open through New Year’s Eve.
Compiled with information from the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.
For information, go to www.nantucketchamber.org.