Almost 50 years ago, the initiators of the first Christmas Walk in Nantucket were trying to stop Islanders from traveling to Cape Cod, 30 miles through Nantucket Sound, to do all their vacation shopping.
Go back to 1973, a year when local traders opened stores late on the first Friday in December, inviting locals to do all their vacation shopping on the island. This evening, dubbed the “Christmas Buyers’ Walk”, lasted only three hours and was a huge success. Traders entertained shoppers with wine, hot chocolate, tea, mulled cider, fruit cakes and holiday cookies while browsing through crafts, books, clothing and items, and d ‘other holiday gift items. Over the next several years, the event grew exponentially, drawing larger crowds until it became a nationally recognized and ultimately internationally renowned holiday event.
Last year, the annual Nantucket Christmas Walk was canceled due to pandemic restrictions, but for 2021 this popular and festive event, now hosted by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled the weekend of December 3, 4 and 5.
This year’s Nantucket Christmas Walk, with a “Holiday Traditions” theme, will feature dozens of decorated Christmas trees mounted throughout downtown, as well as a 20 foot tree atop Main Street. All of these trees will be lit up at dusk the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 26) with a special lighting ceremony presented by the Nantucket House and led by the Nantucket Town Crier, complete with Christmas carols. The public is invited and the event will be broadcast live on Facebook and Instagram @ACKChamber.
Once again this year, the Nantucket Historical Association is transforming its whaling museum into a glittering winter wonderland. Throughout the month of December from the 3rd, over 50 uniquely decorated and crafted trees designed by local businesses, artists, individuals and non-profit organizations make up the Festival of Trees showcase. For 2021, in addition to the exhibit, the NHA is hosting three family evenings at the Tree Festival from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on December 10, 14 and 21, with live performances by local musicians and dancers.
In addition to its long-running traditional events, the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce announced highlights and activities for the Saturday Walk weekend including: the sale of the 47th edition of pins and travel goods; Window and tree decoration competition; Santa Claus Village from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. offering food, crafts and drinks; eclectic entertainment on the Main Street stage; and the arrival by boat of Santa Claus; and special holiday theatrical performances of Forever plaid by the theater workshop and A Christmas Carol from Nantucket by the White Heron Theater. Island business people offer cookie decorations, walking tours, book signings, hikes, special sales, concerts and boardwalk receptions.
Most events will take place on Saturday, December 4: for exact details, dates, times, and locations, visit ChristmasStroll.com and Insider’s Guide to Nantucket. But don’t miss the Santa Pub Crawl on December 5th.
Over the decades, the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce has expanded and improved its Christmas walks, but the holiday spirit and sense of camaraderie on the island add warmth and hospitality to the holiday season festivities on the island. of Nantucket.