Looking to get into the holiday spirit in 2015? Look no further than these six festive events, including craft tours, light displays, parades, a Santa road race, horse-drawn sleighs, and lots of good cheer.
Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial Holiday Lights – Nov. 27-Jan. 1
On a hilltop in South Royalton at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial, visitors are welcome to enjoy a remarkable display of 200,000 lights. The festive display starts Nov. 27 and continues every evening through New Year’s Day. Two lighting ceremonies will be Nov. 27-28 at 7 p.m. with a live nativity program. The annual tradition, which started in 1988, draws about 15,000 visitors each year.
Putney Craft Tour – Nov. 27-29
Want an alternative to Black Friday? Head to Windham County for the Putney Craft Tour, the oldest continuous craft tour in the United States. Putney has one of the highest concentrations of artists and artisans in Vermont, making this event the perfect place to see art in action. This year’s 37th annual Putney Craft Tour features 23 artists, including blacksmiths, glass blowers, potters, jewelers, weavers, woodworkers – even artisan cheesemakers.
A River of Light – Dec. 5
This festive, offbeat parade features more than 500 glowing lanterns created by children and adults. Visitors can make a lantern and be in the parade, or just come and watch for fun. The parade music will be provided by Sambatucada, Brass Balagan, and the Crossett Brook Middle School Junk Band. The 5 p.m. procession along Main Street concludes with a bonfire and more live music.
Holiday Tractor Parade – Dec. 5
Manchester’s 6th annual Holiday Tractor Parade features dozens of floats from non-profit organizations and lighted tractors as they make their way around town. During the parade, you’ll also see decorated businesses and storefronts in the heart of Manchester vying for the top prize in the town’s LED Light Up contest. The parade departs Dorr Farm on Route 30 at 5 p.m.
Ri Ra’s Santa 5K Run – Dec. 6
The annual Ri Ra’s Santa 5k Run is Vermont’s one and only all Santa Race. The course starts on historic Church Street and heads up Battery Street along Lake Champlain and through the Queen City’s neighborhoods before returning to downtown. All participants receive a full Santa suit and are treated to an Irish breakfast after the race at Ri Ra Irish pub.
Wassail Weekend – Dec. 11-13
Woodstock is picture perfect throughout the year, and even more so during the holidays. Wassail Weekend, an annual tradition in Woodstock, includes holiday lights, historic house tours, crafts, a tree lighting, music, events at nearby Billings Farm, and the sounds of sleigh bells during the weekend’s Wassail Parade.