The first weekend in December brings the Hometown Holiday event in Chelsea. It’s returning for its 30th year, Dec. 2-4, 2016, and the festivities are the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
Aiming to warm hearts and lift spirits, the three-day celebration features the annual gingerbread house displays and many more special events.
Start the weekend celebration on Friday with the ceremonial lighting of the city’s new Christmas tree, recently installed at Pierce Park by area Girl Scouts. The ceremony includes music from Chelsea High School’s choirs. It’s all happening from 6-6:30 p.m. If you see a fire truck approaching around this time, chances are it’s Santa’s arrival! After the ceremony, meet him at his workshop – the Chelsea Historic Depot at 125 Jackson St. – for a picture or two until about 8:30 p.m.
Although usually a tradition at the event, the live nativity scene will be on hiatus for 2016 and returning enriched for 2017.
Other events planned for Friday include cookie decorating, holiday story time and tours of the five newly renovated rooms at the Chelsea Area Historical Museum.
Santa returns Saturday morning for a free breakfast (8:30-10:30 a.m.) at the Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center. This is perfect opportunity for another photo with St. Nick (and to eat some delicious pancakes, too!).
Enjoy various activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday including the All the Trimmings Artisan’s Holiday Show, a tour of historic Chelsea homes and the Pam Radcliffe Gingerbread House Workshop. The evening ends with the 12th annual Chelsea Light Parade at 6 p.m. along Main Street.
The 19th annual performance of The Nutcracker ballet graces the stage at Chelsea High School on Saturday and Sunday, plus Dec. 10-11. Ticket prices range from $15-$20. Before the Sunday performances, dress to impress for the Sugar Plum Tea. The festive event takes place at 12:30 p.m. and includes fancy desserts and dancers in costume. Tickets for The Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Tea are available through Ballet Chelsea.
Sunday brings more fun with events like the Chelsea Creche Celebration from 1-7 p.m., and the Chelsea Chamber Players Holiday Concert. The concert, with two shows – one at 3 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. – features musical performances, including the Chelsea High School Orchestra, the Chelsea Chamber Players and a Christmas carol sing-along.
Find a full schedule of events here.
This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for 2016.