Festivals of trees move outward in Lenox and Pittsfield

Downtowns and local businesses are looking for breathing space as they navigate a season where traditional holiday walks and pageants and processions have to give way to safety precautions. In many, people are coming outside.

The Berkshire Museum’s annual Festival of Trees is moving into the community with Legends of the Berkshires. Decorated trees celebrating Berkshire marvels will appear in shops and organizations through January 10.

The new forest will take root in in Pittsfield, Lenox, Great Barrington and Sheffield, said Kimberly Donoughe, marketing and brand manager for the museum — from “Legendary People of the Berkshires,” “Tree-duce, Tree-use, Tree-cycle,” “The Big Foot,” “Legends of the Cuckoo Cuckoo Clocks of the Black Forest” and more.

In Lenox, the annual Winterland celebration has grown first annual tree walk, as local artists decorate more than 30 trees downtown.

And the Walker Street Grill at The Gateways Inn will move outside for a daytime Christmas popup on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with holiday decorations and grab-and-go concessions — a food trailer, fire pits and heat lamps, holiday music and clips of holiday movies. The inn calls it Miracle on Walker Street, a play on the classic film, said Carrie Holland, managing director at Mill town Capital, which bought the inn in July.

“People can spend 15 or 20 minutes a hot drink, hot food, and then stroll,” she said. “It’s festive spot to warm up and get something to eat and move on.”

Chef Trish Magner will offer a menu items that are easy to eat in gloves — soup, chili, big pretzels, bags of nuts, toasted breads and cheeses … and for desserts — gingerbread cookies and Christmas cookies, mini proseco and hot chocolate and mulled wine.

“We’re digging through our grandparents’ cookbooks,” Holland said.

For music she has a holiday playlist, and she is working with Berkshire jazz musician Andy Wrba as her to arrange live music as well.

They plan to offer the popup through Dec. 20 and may consider extending it into the winter.

“This may turn into an annual tradition,” Holland said.

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