Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Old Sturbridge Village Hosts Christmas By Candlelight

Nostalgic look at favorite holiday traditions, music, and food
Nine evening celebrations set for December 2-4; 9-11; 16-18

STURBRIDGE, Mass. (Nov. 17, 2011): Visitors to Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight celebrations can experience the sights and sounds of a traditional holiday as they stroll the magical candlelit 19th-century village, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, meet Father Christmas and Santa Claus, and hear Victorian holiday carolers. OSV historians will show the origins of favorite holiday traditions like roasted chestnuts, Christmas trees, Yule logs, gingerbread houses, and sugar plums. Now in its ninth year, Christmas by Candlelight will take place from 4:00 – 900 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings Dec. 2-4, 11-13, and 16-18. For or 508-347-3362. Tickets purchased now through November 20 will be discounted up to 50%.

Old Sturbridge Village’s “Christmas by Candlelight” allows visitors to escape the frenzy of the modern Christmas season, enjoy the old-fashioned spirit of the holidays and learn how today’s favorite traditions originated. At Christmas by Candlelight, visitors can actually see “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” hear why they were a favored treat in early New England, and also learn the origins of candy canes, mistletoe, and how poinsettias were introduced to this country.

Visitors can vote for their favorite entry in the annual OSV Gingerbread House Contest and take part in a rousing Christmas carol sing-a-long, and learn a dance from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Hands-on activities include making a Christmas keepsake while learning about the history of Christmas cards, and making a tin ornament while finding out the history of Christmas tree decorations. Visitors of all ages are invited to tell Santa Claus what is on their holiday wish list.

Live performances include Punch and Judy puppet shows, Victorian carolers, five different holiday-themed readings, including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and nativity stories, and on select evenings Bob Olson’s Holiday Magic and Andrea Caspari’s shadow puppet theater. A model train display is new this year, and other Christmas by Candlelight exhibits include an extensive nativity set with hundreds of pieces and a miniature New England village.

Musical performers include a wide range of professional, student, and community musicians, including Full Gael Celtic Christmas, Worcester Men of Song, Quintebrass, Boston Jazz Voices, and the Old Sturbridge Village Singers. Three different hand bell choirs will be featured: the Merrimack Valley Ringers, Elm Street Handbells, and the Tantasqua Faculty Handbell Choir. Student musicians from Worcester State University and a number of area high schools will also perform. A current schedule is listed below, but for the most up to date information, go to

The museum gift shop and Oliver Wight Tavern will be open for holiday shopping and dining during Christmas by Candlelight, which is sponsored by Fallon Community Health Plan, Savers Bank, and Bollus Lynch.

In order to focus on the evening holiday events, Old Sturbridge Village will be closed during the day from November 28 – December 25. The Village will be open for Christmas by Candlelight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 4:00 – 9:00 pm. Dec. 2-4; Dec.11-13, and Dec. 16-18. The Village will return to a daytime schedule for its popular school vacation week activities Dec. 26 – Jan. 1.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates life in early New England from 1790 – 1840. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., OSV is open year-round, but days and hours vary seasonally. For details, visit or call 800-SEE-1830.

Old Sturbridge Village
Christmas by Candlelight
Performance Schedule
(As of 11/17/2011. For complete list, see
Friday, December 2:
Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Full Gael Celtic Christmas
Old Sturbridge Village Dancers
Tantasqua High School Choraleers
Woodstock Academy Hill Singers
Saturday, December 3:
Andrea Caspari and Firefly Shadow Theater
Geoff Brown ~ A Mandolin Christmas
Lynnfield Pioneer Singers
Shepard Hill "Mystique"
Sunday, December 4:
Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Jaques Ave Five
Old Sturbridge Village Singers

Friday, December 9
Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Brookfield Elementary Band & Chorus
Full Gael Celtic Christmas
Hickory Strings
Old Sturbridge Village Dancers
Saturday, December 10:Andrea Caspari and Firefly Shadow Theater
Full Gael Celtic Christmas
Stow Fife and Drum
Treblesome Barbershop Quartet
Sunday, December 11:Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Old Sturbridge Village Singers
Prolatia Choir
Worcester State Chorale
Friday, December 16:Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Full Gael Celtic Christmas
Merrimack Valley Ringers
Old Sturbridge Village Dancers
Stafford High Madrigal Singers
Tantasqua Faculty Handbell Choir
Saturday, December 17:Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Boston Jazz Voices
Elm Street Handbells
Pawtuxet Fife and Drum
Tantasqua Brass Quintet
Worcester Men of Song
Sunday, December 18:Bob Olson's Holiday Magic
Leicester Town Band
Old Sturbridge Village Singers
Oxford High School Band
Rose Thorn and Fiddle

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