The holiday season is officially underway and that means that homeowners, apartment renters and condo dwellers alike are decking the halls and hanging sparkling Christmas lights for display. Holiday light displays have become a tradition across America and some of the best light displays are held in the scenic, historic and wintery states of New England.
One of the best light displays in Maine actually takes place during another Christmas tradition, The Festival of Lights in Maine’s Village of York. On December 4, 2010 the Village of York will hold a holiday festival that includes a light display, parade and Christmas themed revelry. There is a certain Dickensian charm about the Village of York that is hard to come by and is the perfect setting for basking in twinkling Christmas lights. For more information, visit the official webpage of Maine’s Chamber of Commerce or call the York Parks and Recreation department at (207) 363-1040.
Christmas trees were the first light displays any holiday lover saw as a child. Fond memories of childhood Christmas trees are brought to full volume at the Vermont Holiday Festival in the skiing community of Killington, Vermont. The annual celebration starts on the 9th of December, 2010 and lasts through the weekend ending on Saturday the 10th of December. Killington’s Holiday Festival is famous all over the state of Vermont for the hundreds of individually decorated and lighted Christmas Trees. The best night to attend the festival in Killington is on the “kick-off” night, as admission is free with the donation of a canned nonperishable food item. For additional information on and the schedule of events for the Vermont Holiday Festival visit the Killington Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Nashua, New Hampshire is home the annual Winter Stroll, one of the first New England light displays of the season. Meant as a welcome to the holiday season, the Winter Stroll is a huge event featuring light displays, performance arts, auctions and shopping stalls and there is no admittance fee to attend. The city of Nashua holds the event annually, this year the Winter Stroll falls directly after Thanksgiving on November 27, 2010. Charitable organizations and local businesses sponsor the event, allowing the city to keep the event free, so attendants are encouraged to shop, eat and donate as much as they can as a way of supporting those generous sponsors. Not only is Nashua’s Winter Stroll an impressive display of Christmas lights and a great place to get Christmas shopping started, but it is also an inspiring showing of local pride. To learn more about the Winter Stroll, visit the official website of Nashua’s Great American Downtown.
The Festival of Lights in Bridgewater, Massachusetts has all the ingredients to the perfect night of holiday fun. Over 200,000 glimmering and colorful lights, crackling fire and hot chocolate make the Bridgewater Festival of Lights a great small town light display. In the spirit of a New England Christmas, there is no admittance fee but attendants are encouraged to donate to the organization that sponsors the event, Star Light Charities, Inc. The display will open December 10, 2010 and be open daily until Christmas Day, December 25, 2010. For more information, visit the official website of the Bridgewater Festival of Lights.
Christmas at the Newport Mansions is an annual event held in Newport, Rhode Island that takes Christmas light tours to a new level of breath taking beauty and high-class Christmas spirit. Starting on the 20th of November and running until January 2, 2011, the Breakers, Elms and Marble houses are host to daily tours, decorative displays and performances. The three mansions are, by themselves, impressive examples of American architecture and once they are fully decked in holiday regalia, there is no mistaking the historic homes’ elegant and festive atmosphere. There is an entrance charge to visit the Newport Mansions, but the spectacle that waits inside is worth the price. To see a schedule of events and learn more about Christmas at the Newport Mansions, visit the Newport Mansions website.
The Hartford Festival of Light is a long honored tradition of the city that has been updated for 2010. This year, Connecticut’s favorite Christmas event is being moved to Bushnell Park and an outdoor ice skating rink is being added to add more active interaction between visitors and the light display. The Festival of Light will still be kicked off with a large “extravaganza” the day after Thanksgiving November 26, 2010. A primary consideration of moving the event to the historic park was Bushnell Park’s centralized location among Hartford’s best shopping, dining and performance arts destinations. For more information on the Hartford Festival of Light visit the Greater Hartford Arts Council website.
All around New England lights are being hung, trees are being erected and hot cocoa is being prepared. The best Christmas light displays and tours around New England can inspire the spirit in anyone.