December is a busy time of year, but the best part is that we
can get into the spirit of the season at a time when the days are
at their shortest and least sunny.
Twinkling lights, holiday music, and myriad festivals can light up
our lives on the days of little sunlight and too many chores to
Ditto the snowy slopes. There is nothing like getting outdoors and
back on snow to make one relax, re-create and re-energize body and
Here's a brief sampling to get you into the spirit and
Into the Spirit
There are major festivities this weekend in Killington, Ludlow,
Plymouth, Woodstock and Rutland that will get you into fun and the
The two-day Vermont Holiday Festival at the Grand Hotel in
Killington includes the Festival of Trees, Santa's Workshop, sleigh
rides, face painting, and the Jack Frost Marketplace, which
features unique Vermont Specialty products and gifts. A
portion of the proceeds from the Festival will go to the Vermont
Foodbank to help make the holidays more joyful for needy families.
This is a great event for families and kids and anyone who wants a
fully decorated tree.
The Annual Ludlow and Black River Community Christmas Celebration
takes place on Friday Dec. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ludlow
Town Hall Auditorium. This community Christmas celebration features
the music and performances of local students and adults as they
celebrate Christmas through plays, musical ensembles, choral
pieces, skits, and a sing-a-long. This is a free event.
Plymouth joins the festivities with the Coolidge Holiday Open
House on Sunday, December 15 at the President Calvin Coolidge State
Historic Site. The President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education
Center, Aldrich House (home of Calvin's stepmother and later a
prosperous tearoom), Coolidge Hall (the 1924 Summer White House
office), Wilder House Restaurant (serving a homemade, hearty
lunch), Union Christian Church, and Florence Cilley General Store
will be open free of charge, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features
special presentations and a variety of family activities. The
Coolidge Birthplace will be decorated as it would have been in
1872, the year the future president was born.
In Woodstock, the Pentangle Arts Wassail Weekend features an Irish
Holiday on Friday at 7:30; Holiday House Tour and a Wassail Tea on
Saturday; and Annual Messiah Sing on Sunday.
Rutland also gets into the giving spirit with its annual
Gift-of-Life Marathon on December 17. Last year 1,955 pints were
given, just 13 pints shy of the national record. If you want to
help get the region to the national record this year, make your
appointment at the location most convenient for you by going to
Onto the slopes
There are special on-snow opportunities to bring a little ho-ho-ho
to your inner spirit, too.
Pico Mountain opens on Friday Dec. 12 just for season passholders
and those with Express Cards, a nice perk for 'first tracks' of the
season at Pico.
The area debuts to the public on Saturday with a ticket special -
donate two perishable food items and your lift ticket is just $25.
This is a benefit for the BROC food bank.
Also on Saturday, Okemo features free demos for those looking to
buy new equipment. Test out the latest in skis and snowboards from
8 a.m. -2 p.m. (Register at Jackson Gore courtyard.) Snowboarders
are required to provide their own bindings and all must present a
credit card for security purposes.
For those with energy to spare, Okemo is offering a Saturday
evening snowshoe hike under a Full Moon! You'll trek up the
mountain through the woods to grandmother's house. But instead of
grandmother's house you'll end up at the fire pit in Jackson Gore
for a marshmallow roast! The event is free if you have your own
snowshoes; rentals are $10. Call 802-228-1956 to register.
Killington also has a demo opportunity to the public on December
17 and 18 with fantastic "Fest Test Demo Day during PSIA's Pro
Fest. The on-snow demo event will feature premiere brands
showcasing the best gear for the 2014 season. The demo area will be
open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the base of Superstar at K-1
Lodge. The party continues with the official Killington Test Fest
Party at the Wobbly Barn Live afterward. Music, drink specials, and
product raffle are all on the agenda!