Yuletide celebration coming to Storrowton Village Museum

Nov 28 2017

Those longing for a return to an old-fashioned Christmas may find their dream come true at this weekend’s Yuletide at Storrowton Village Museum.

The annual event, held on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition on Saturday and Sunday, celebrates the holidays with traditional Yuletide activities, entertainment, Santa Claus and shopping in the historic village.

One of the more popular aspects of Yuletide at Storrowton is walking through the buildings which have been decorated as they would have been “days gone by” with beautiful wreaths, swags, garlands, fresh evergreens and all natural materials around every corner.

Yuletide coordinator and master gardener Thelma Greene of Chicopee will oversee the festive decorating project.

Participating clubs and florists who deck out the village through their generosity and inspired ideas include: the Agawam, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Springfield and West Springfield Garden Clubs; Garden Club of the Westfield Woman’s Club; Deena Rollet of Merry Mite Gardens in Suffield, Conn.; Anthony Gladu of West Springfield’s Rose Petal & Thorn; Flowers by Webster; and the Eastern States Exposition Landscape Department.

“Many of these people have been decorating our village for years and are really familiar with its history and surroundings, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to sprucing up the village for an old-fashioned holiday. I think what keeps them coming back is the fact that it gives them a chance to step outside what they do every day and to decorate for the past. They go out and gather natural things…..dried things…..that they wouldn’t necessarily use all year long,” Green said.

“Visitors will see natural flowers and plants, and the natural decorations are usually very colorful and relaxing to see. Some folks will be creating garlands to go over the mantles and fireplaces in the village. We have one florist from Connecticut who will be doing a big Christmas tree in the Gilbert Parlor that will be decorated only with dried and other natural products. There are no electrical lights allowed in keeping with the period,” she added.

Greene noted that many visitors each year attend the event to see how they can incorporate natural materials into their home decorating and take those ideas back with them.

It’s Jessica Fontaine’s first Yuletide at Storrowton as new director of the museum.

“I’m very excited about this year’s event. We have a lot of things that people have grown to love and expect over the years, as well as some new things, like the wonderful CactusHead Puppets,” Fontaine said.

“We will also have Sally-Jane Heit with us this year. She is a former Broadway actress, who has also appeared in movies and on television, who is retired and now lives in Great Barrington. Her readings of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ will be infused with her own comedic stories about Christmas and her memoirs of performing over the years,” she added.

Among the many scheduled performances and activities both days will be:

  • Barbara Bennett, organ recital of seasonal carols, Saturday at 11 a.m.
  • Mike Rondeau, ice sculpting demonstration, Saturday at noon
  • Gail White, a discussion on how New England Native Americans prepared for winterHands-on crafts for the whole family
  • CactusHead Puppet Show presents “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” Saturday at 3 p.m.
  • Stan Svec, Folk Music of 19th Century America, Sunday at 1 p.m.
  • Sally-Jane Heit, reading of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and stories of Christmases past, Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

There will also by 19th century craft demonstrations of blacksmithing, heart cooking, quilting, broom making and tinsmithing, as well as hands-on crafts for both kids and adults to participate in.

Also, visitors will also be able to do a little holiday shopping at the Storrowton Gift Shop in the Phillips House. And, the Holiday Sweet Shoppe in Potter Mansion will be selling hot beverages and baked goods prepared by Storrowton volunteers and staff.

But the old-fashioned fun doesn’t end on Sunday.

After the weekend’s free event, the Village will hold Yuletide Open House Tours for $7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 5-9 and a special Yuletide By Lantern Light on Dec. 6 from 6-8 p.m., also for $7. Children 6 and under are free for the regular tours, while those 2 and under are free for the lantern light tours.

Storrowton Village will also offer ASL tours on December 3 conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those interested in those special tours should check in at the Gift Shop upon arrival.

Parking is free for the event.



Nov 2018