Blues music, a Shaker dinner by candlelight, downtown celebrations and regional artisans … Thanksgiving Weekend opens the holiday season with quiet festivities and a glow in the dark. For a larger lineup of events, check the weekly calendar.
Bennington celebrates Small Business Saturday with Fireplace photo-ops with Santa at the Downtown Visitor Center, noon to 2 p.m.; carolers strolling downtown noon to 2 p.m., shops open all day, free gift wrapping at Summit Church Main Street for locally bought gifts; Christmas Bazaar, craft and flea market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church; Jack Rossiter-Munley performs American Roots Folk, Blues and Rock 7:30 p.m. at the Meetinghouse Café at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Historic and holdiay train rides will run on the Hoosac Valley Line, Nov. 24 to 26 and on weekends through Dec. 17, with a visit from the man dressed in red himself. The hour-long round trip takes a 20 minute stop at a Christmas tree sale to benefit PopCares, a non-profit organization helping local cancer patients in the Northern Berkshire and bordering Southern Vermont towns, and riders can disembark in North Adams for hot cocoa and a campfire before the return ride to Adams. All trains depart from the Depot in Adams at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 1, 3 and 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Hancock Shaker Village will celebrate the winter holidays Nov. 24 to 26 and on weekends through Dec. 17 with wreaths on doors and lights glowing, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and children’s holiday craft workshop with complimentary cocoa, 11 to 3. On Saturday the village will host a Shaker candlelit harvest dinner in the Brick Dwelling, where Shakers ate communally beginning in 1830: the menu reflects local fare and benefits the new farm internship program, 6 p.m. On any winter open day, see heritage calves and other animals in the barnyard. Meander along the Farm and Forest Trail, ski or snowshoe (weather permitting), learn about the Shakers and see their beautifully-designed objects in the 19th century Brick Dwelling on tours of the building at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The shop and cafe will also open for Shop Small Saturday.
At the Bennington Museum’s annual holiday show, a wide range of regional artists respond to Nichols Goddard’s Musical Tall Case Clock, ca. 1810, one of the centerpieces of the Museum’s new Early Vermont exhibition, with collage art, paintings, woodwork, textiles, sculpture and more. Goddard created an intricate timepiece: A set of ten bells and hammers play seven tunes, and a day of the month wheel and moon dial measure cycles of time. The artwork is entered into a closed-bid auction to benefit the museum’s educational programs. The photo above shows a woodcarving by Berkshire artist Coleen Curley; the photo is by Jess Gamari
The 18th Annual marketplace of art, craft and food gathers hand-crafted products by local artisans, from leatherwork to fiber art to baskets to glass, with new work throughout the holidays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends at the Sheffield Historical Society. Photo by Susan Geller