November 25 2020 Edition
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By the Way
The blue stairs are ice and fire, gleaming with snowflakes and warm with Gospel music. A woman is singing in a confident alto, full-voice and improvising, 'Let there be peace in every nation. Let there be hope for all the world to see ...'

Stepping up feels like walking into a reunion. It's like a dance party with friends where you can move unselfconsciously to the beat — and I'd almost forgotten what that's like — when the world is suddenly off-kilter, unexpected and humming with magic. Even in this odd year, it can happen.

Last Sunday night, Brian Cruey invited me for an early glimpse of Winterlights. Naumkeag has had to adapt their annual festival to the changing world, and they've done it in a blaze of glory.

They have redesigned the walk this year around a one-way loop, to keep people spread out, and closed the few indoor areas they traditionally offer. And they have as many and more lights, he says, in this gently reshaped space — swathed across the lawn, clustered like grapes in the arbor, dancing phospherescent pinpricks in the pine trees.

This is holiday cheer and music you can sing along to. You walk through a gleaming tunnel to a jazzed beat and memories of sleigh riding in the snow. Walk around a corner into a New Years disco. The trees glimmer and the playlist is coming up with classics from my childhood and contemporary songs I've never heard, and I keep wanting to laugh. By the Way Berkshires
Blue StairsH


The Hoosic River runs through golden maple trees in Williamstown on a fall afternoon.

The Mohican nation honors their homeland

Heather Bruegl imagines Mohican people telling Mohican stories and histories, on Mohican land. She is the cultural affairs director for the Stockbridge Munsee community of the Mohican Nation, and she talks with me, and with WAM Theatre, as they prepare for this weekend's performance of 'The Thanksgiving Play.'

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Domed sculptures gleam in the Italian Garden at the Mount in NightWood.

NightWood transforms the Mount into fantasy

This winter, the Mount will transform Edith Wharton's gardens and grounds with NightWood, a landscape of mystery, doors into other worlds, journey and night.

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Hancock Shaker Village on a winter day. Photo courtesy of HSV.

Thanksgiving on the Farm

November 27 and 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hancock Shaker Village will hold Thanksgiving on the Farm, with farm animals in the Round Stone Barn, blacksmithing demos and Shaker talks, and a holiday marketplace on Saturday.

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A winter holiday ornament catches the light.

Festival of Trees: Legends of the Berkshires

November 28 to January 10

This year the Berkshire Museum's Festival of Trees will move from the museum’s galleries into shops, restaurants and other locations throughout the city of Pittsfield and surrounding communities.

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Tim Jones and Corinna May perform as Buddy and his cousin Sook in A Holiday Memory. Press photo courtesy of Berkshire Theatre Group.

Truman Capote's Holiday Memories

November 28 to December 20

Berkshire Theatre Group presents a live outdoor perfomance of the play Holiday Memories, inspired by Truman Capote’s autobiographical short story about his own experiences growing up in depression-era Alabama.

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A collie in holiday gear steps out in the annual Williamstown Reindog Parade. Press photo courtesy of Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.

Williamstown Holiday Walk

November 25 to December 31

The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce is reimagining Williamstown’s Annual Holiday Walk as a three-week celebration of small shops and local nonprofits with popup shops, gingerbread houses, story walk, virtual pet parade and more.

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Christmas candles. Public domain image.

Holiday Lights at Arrowhead

December 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Arrowhead warms up with seasonal readings by Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and other 19th century writers, and Berkshire writer Kevin O'Hara.

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Holiday stockings hang on the mantel. Creative Commons courtesy photo.

Basic Hand Sewing: Holiday Stockings

December 2 at 6 p.m. (online)

IS183 will offer a workshop on Basic hand sewing for Holiday Stockings: Design your stocking, create a pattern, choose fabrics and learn basic stitches.

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