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.
Highlights include holiday readings and a Children's Holiday Sing Along held at the Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives. On Friday night gather round the hearth to hear classic stories of the season and on Saturday morning children enjoy a winter themed sing along.
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, Historic Homes, B&Bs, Inns and private homes decorated in holiday attire.
The musical high point 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 we celebrate the magic of the season with a joyful holiday musical program featuring Winter Song, an instrumental ensemble led by Joe Rose with singers Beth Rose and John Demler. Also singing will be a women's group from Simon's Rock College, led by Berkshire Lyric's long-time director Jack Brown.
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 Monument Mountain Regional High School performing in Saint Paul's church and the Berkshire Victorian 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 Red Lion Inn Christmas Food Booth. 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.