Merrymaking! A guide to a Cape Cod weekend of holiday strolls, festivals, parades and more
Several Cape Cod towns, and some smaller villages, have their own traditions for celebrating Christmas and holiday revelry this month. With Thanksgiving weekend behind us, this is the big kickoff for parades, lights, caroling, shopping, running, all kinds of displays and more.
Here are the community celebrations happening this weekend (it’s a busy one!), with activities literally happening from one end of Cape Cod to the other:
Holidays by the Sea in Falmouth
The Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and Town of Falmouth Special Events Committee will present three days of events Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-5. Events will include caroling at Nobska Lighthouse at 5:30 p.m. Friday; Seafaring Santa arriving in Falmouth Harbor at 10:30 a.m. Saturday; the 10th annual GhELF (a half-mile for ages 12 and under) at 3 p.m. Saturday; and the annual Jingle Jog down Main Street at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Activities and open houses will be offered by downtown businesses for the 4 p.m. Saturday stroll, and the Lighting of the Falmouth Village Green will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The 58th Annual Christmas Parade, with the theme “Together for Christmas,” will step off from Dillingham Avenue at noon on Sunday with decorated floats, bands, animals, and walking groups marching down Main Street to the Falmouth Village Green. The stars of “A Cape Cod Christmas,” an AMC+ movie shot in town last year, will lead the parade. Information: www.falmouthchamber.com.
Holly Folly in Provincetown
From Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-5, the annual LGBTQ holiday festival includes entertainment, food, shopping (including the Holiday Market), nightlife and events. The Holly Folly Shop, Hop and Gallery Stroll will take place along Commercial Street each day.
Guests are invited to dress up for the Jolly Holly Folly Ugly Sweater and Wig Bar Crawl from 5 p.m. to close Friday, and there's an Inn Stroll from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday to view decorations.
There are new holiday shows at Pilgrim House and Crown & Anchor; live piano music at various spots; drag bingo; and dancing at The Vault and Atlantic House (which is holding a Snow Ball from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday).
Saturday, Dec. 4, is Holly Folly Express Yourself Day, a new Provincetown tradition that encourages people to convey their individuality by dressing up in colorful, creative ways ... holiday style. The Jingle Bell Run kicks off Express Yourself Day with revelers in Speedos and holiday-themed costumes running down Commercial Street for cheers, prizes, and a champagne brunch at the Crown & Anchor (advance ticket purchase highly encouraged).
The Provincetown Holly Folly Follies cabaret show at 8 p.m. at Provincetown Town Hall is billed as “the gayest holiday show in town.” There’s also a Sunday Service Drag Brunch at Pilgrim House, a Holly Folly Photobooth, and dance and cookie parties. Information on all: https://ptown.org/.
Other Christmas events this weekend: Lights, concerts & a 'Nutcracker': 8 ways to celebrate the holidays Dec. 3-9
Brewster for the Holidays
Events Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-5, include 4 p.m. Friday, Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree in Drummer Boy Park, with carol-singing led by the Brewster Eddy School Choir and Santa arriving by fire truck (please bring an unwrapped toy for the Brewster PTO Toy Drive); and 7 p.m. Friday, the Brewster Band annual Holiday Concert at Brewster Baptist Church (1848 Main St.).
On Saturday, there's Breakfast with Santa at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. (tickets in advance only). There will be pictures with Santa, storytimes and children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (museum admission is free). Information on all: https://brewster-capecod.com/brewster-events/brewster-for-the-holidays/
Holly Days in Sandwich
This annual celebration started early and continues through the month with events like the door-decorating contest, and the Giants light sculptures lit up around town. This weekend’s event will include a 7 p.m. Friday Community Carol Sing in Town Hall Square. Also continuing are the 12th annual Glassblowers Christmas (with hundreds of glass ornaments by local artists hung on Christmas trees and for sale) and the “Forever in Blooms: Florals Depicted in Glass” exhibit. Information: www.sandwichchamber.com.
Christmas in Harwich
The three-day event begins Friday, Dec. 3 with tree lightings all over town. The Harwich Port Stroll will take place 5:30 to 9 p.m.; and at 5:30 p.m., there will be a program of caroling by the Harwich Elementary School and Pilgrim Congregational Church singers in Doane Park.
At 6 p.m. Friday, Seven Trees for Seven Villages will light up, at the following locations: East Harwich, Hinckley’s Home Center; Harwich Center, Pilgrim Masonic Lodge Park; Harwich Port, Doane Park; North Harwich, Harwich Transfer Station; Pleasant Lake, Cape Cod Regional Technical School; South Harwich, TBD; West Harwich, Chase Library.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Trolley To Christmas Town will be operating in town, and the Festival of Trees Fundraiser for the Family Pantry will take place Dec. 1-20 at the Harwich Chamber, 400 East Restaurant & Bar and participating businesses in town. https://harwichcc.com/cape-cod-vacation/.
47th annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll
Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-5, there will be decorated trees on display, visits by Santa Claus, Santa’s Village Marketplace and various types of entertainment.
On Saturday, there will be craft shows, performances, special dinners at island restaurants, tours, and exhibitions. Nantucket Historical Association’s traditional Festival of Trees 2021 will have decorated Christmas trees on display Dec. 3-31 at the Whaling Museum. Information: https://www.nantucketchamber.org/stroll.
The Eastham Holiday Festival on Saturday, Dec. 4 will start with meet-and-greets with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon at the Eastham Library, include tours of the town windmill, and finish with a family-oriented outdoor Carols on the Green event from 4 to 5 p.m. on the Windmill Green on Route 6.
The Nauset Regional High School Honors Chorus will contribute a selection of holiday tunes to the caroling, as will students from the Eddy Elementary School in Brewster. There will be complimentary cocoa and cookies. A Toys for Tots collection box will be at the library during Santa’s visit, then on the green during caroling.
Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll
Festivities will be held 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, along Route 6A, with a tree lighting and caroling at 4 p.m. on the Village Green. Activities will include Rosalita's Puppet shows, crafts with Mrs. Claus, Lady Feyline’s Fantastikal face painting, FunClowns Balloon art, trolley rides, and a multitude of food offerings.
The Harper and The Minstrel, Cape Cod Carolers and Regency Brass Band will be playing live music, and there will also be photos with Santa at the Captain Bangs Hallet House, courtesy of Walgreens Pharmacy.
In connection with the stroll, there will be the Cape Cod Tuba Christmas Concert at 1:30 p.m. Sunday with tuba, sousaphone, euphonium and baritone players serenading the crowd with holiday classics in the New Church, 266 Route 6A (Main Street).
Information on all: https://business.yarmouthcapecod.com/events/details/yarmouth-port-christmas-stroll-13424
Hyannis Holiday Stroll
The stroll will fill the downtown area from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Santa arrives on Main Street via antique fire truck at noon. Gingerbread Lane artist shanties on the harbor overlook will be open, with photo ops, puppet shows, food, drink, and a StoryWalk between there and the Village Green.
HyArts artist studios will be open for displays and activities. Other activities include a Kids' Zone with petting zoo and pony rides, trolley rides, carolers and musicians, ice carving, balloon twisting, a cookie contest, and a scavenger hunt to find all of Santa's hidden reindeer. There will be a boat parade on Hyannis Harbor at 4:30 p.m. Information: hyannismainstreet.com and https://artsbarnstable.com/hyarts-shanties/
The Love Local Fest Holiday Edition will involve more than 100 artists and artisans setting up outdoors on the village green during the stroll to create a local shopping market. There will also be local food trucks, a craft beer garden and kids' activities. https://lovelivelocal.com/love-local-fest/
Christmas in Cotuit
Activities take place throughout town on Saturday, Dec. 4, with some organizations extending the celebration into Sunday, Dec. 5. Santa will arrive by boat at the Town Dock at 3:45 p.m., followed by caroling on the Village Green at 4 p.m.
Other activities throughout the day include: a free Winter Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4-5 at Cahoon Museum of American Art; Greenfest 2021, a holiday centerpiece workshop fundraiser for Cotuit Center for the Arts ($30 per person/24 participants per five timed sessions); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 21st Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival at Freedom Hall; at the Cotuit Library, “Gingerbread Library” DIY Family Photo Booth, gingerbread decorating (2 to 4 p.m.) and a magician (pre-registration required).
In Bruce Hall at Cotuit Federated Church, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be the Cotuit Women's Fellowship Gift Baskets Sale, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the 19th annual Small Works Art Show & Sale. The Cotuit Kettleers Store at Lowell Park will be open. From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be wooden ornament painting with cookies and cider at Cotuit Historical Society; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., tastings at Cotuit Fresh Market on Main Street.
The Centerville Christmas Stroll
This annual largely outdoor event will take place along Main Street from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, with a rain date of Dec. 5, with music, decorations, lights and food vendors.
The Centerville Historical Museum has an ongoing auction that includes about 80 retail and service items, including gift baskets, gift certificates from merchants, restaurants and services, art crafts and jewelry. Silent bidding takes place during regular museum hours and until the end of the Stroll.
Marstons Mills Tree Lighting: Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Marstons Mills Community Church, 2135 Main St. At 4:30 p.m., there will be free hot dogs, cocoa and sweet treats plus a craft fair. At 5 p.m., the tree will be lit and carols will be sung.
West Barnstable Tree Lighting: Sunday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. on the village green for tree lighting and caroling; annual Christmas storytelling, 5:30 p.m. with hot chocolate and candy canes.
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Guide to big Cape Cod weekend of holiday strolls, festivals, parades