Santa Claus is coming to the tri-town: a holiday event guide

Nov 30, 2017

'Tis the season to be jolly, and a very jolly season it promises to be! Holiday events are planned throughout the tri-town, from pancake breakfasts to Christmas Strolls and holiday concerts. Do you have more holiday events to add? Email with the details.

Holiday Festivals

Rochester’s Annual Tree Lighting returns on December 4—the tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m. The Tree Lighting will feature Christmas carols sung by the Rochester Memorial School chorus. After the tree is lit, food and drinks will be available inside Rochester’s Town Hall.

Admire the homes of Marion, decorated for the Christmas season, on the Sippican Women’s Club Holiday House Tour. This year’s tour runs on December 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The theme is “Festival of Trees,” and 60 decorated trees will be available for viewing inside the Women’s Club headquarters, Handy’s Tavern.

A holiday wassail will be offered before a tour of each of the five houses on the tour. There will also be a tea at St. Gabriel’s located at the corner of Front Street and South Street, where those on the tour can enjoy freshly baked pastries and have a chance to warm up. Tea will be served between 2p.m.-4 p.m., by club members.

Tickets are $20 in advance. They can be purchased in Marion at Serendipity by the Sea, The Book Stall, and Marion General Store. In Mattapoisett, tickets may be purchased at Isabelle’s in The Ropewalk.

Tickets may be reserved by mail (Sippican Woman’s Club, P.O. Box 121, Marion Ma., please write “tickets” on your envelope) and picked up at Coldwell Banker, next to Handy’s Tavern. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the tour, for $25 per ticket at Coldwell Banker.

Santa makes his return to the tri-town on December 9, stopping by Mattapoisett’s Annual Holiday in the Park. This year’s event will feature food from local eateries and holiday activities for the entire family. Santa will available for children to say hello. The actual tree lighting will run from 3-5 p.m.

Santa will then overnight on a houseboat, it seems; he’ll arrive in Marion the next day (December 10) by boat during Marion’s annual Christmas Stroll, which runs from 3-6 p.m. Santa won’t be the only draw though; music, arts and crafts will also be featured during the stroll.

Family fun

Mattapoisett’s Congregational Church is hosting a “Holiday Fun Night” for the whole family on Friday, December 1. People of all ages are invited to participate. Food and kid-friendly crafts will be available, and organizers plan on an evening of fellowship and fun.

The Holiday Fun Night will run from 6-8 p.m. The event is free, but organizers ask that attendees bring something for the potluck dinner to share. To register and let organizers know your potluck dish, contact Patricia Berry at or call the church office at 508-758-2671.

Give a local library a boost and continue celebrating the season at the Friends of the Plumb Library Holiday Fair in Rochester. The fair will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Plumb Library in Rochester. A silent auction will be available, as well as a bake sale and musical entertainment. The Rochester Historical Society will be on hand with a table, and Rochester’s Girl Scouts will be singing carols from 10-11:30 a.m.

Children can also take photos with Amos, the library’s reading therapy dog, from 10 a.m.-noon, or make a dog ornament during the same time period.

Looking for some Christmas pageantry? This year, the Mattapoisett Congregational Church's annual "White Gifts Pageant Sunday" will be held Sunday, December 17, at 3 p.m., in Reynard Hall, 27 Church Street. The “Christmas Story” is a storytelling, music, prayer and mission. Contact Patricia Berry, Christian Education Director or Holly Gordon, Pageant Director with interest or questions at 508-758-2671 or

Need a little hot chocolate to get into the spirit of the season? Enjoy a complimentary cup at the Mattapoisett Library on Saturday, December 9, between 1-3 p.m. While you’re there, make a jingle bell necklace, and try to win a prize on the library’s Santa Tree Challenge.

If hot chocolate doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, it’s time to turn to holiday cookies. The Elizabeth Taber Library is offering a holiday Cookie Swap on Tuesday, December 12, at 4 p.m. Bring a dozen holiday cookies (and your recipe!) to swap with others, and maybe find a new holiday favorite while you’re at it.

The holidays are the time for good food, and Rochester’s Council on Aging is hopping on board. The COA is again offering its annual Breakfast with Santa. This year’s Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, December 15, beginning at 10 a.m.

If breakfast isn’t your thing, Pizza with Santa is another option! Marion’s Fire Department is offering Pizza with Santa on December 17 this year, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Gift opportunities

Looking for the perfect Christmas wreath to hang on your door? The Rochester Women’s Club is holding a Wreath Sale on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. According to organizers, the evergreen wreathes are fresh and decorated in several different styles. The wreathes can be purchased at the Women’s Club headquarters at 37 Marion Road in Rochester.

Adults can craft some holiday fun at the Mattapoisett Library’s Adult Holiday Craft Drop-in on December 3, from 2-4 p.m.

Members of Marion’s Garden Group is offering a variety of holiday greens at their Holiday Boutique sale, held this year on Saturday, December 9. Members begin making ornaments and decorations as early as October in a marathon buzz of creativity that culminates in “Greens Week." During the week,  the Garden Group creates the  wreathes, garlands and table toppers. Items start at low at $3 and the group now accepts credit cards.

This year's Holiday Boutique will be held from 9 a.m.-noon, at Marion's Music Hall. Early attendance is encouraged as popular items sell out early.

The Mattapoisett Boy Scouts are also offering wreaths for sale. Mattapoisett Troop 53 is offering plain or decorated wreathes at Mattapoisett’s Town Hall from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. Free cups of coffee or hot chocolate will also be available.

Those looking to purchase crafts already made can browse handmade gifts and the Mattapoisett Historical Society’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair, which will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. A large selection of handmade creations will be available, including art, notecards, soaps, woolens, photographs, jewelry and dried floral arrangements.

Looking for a truly one-of-a-kind gift? The Mattapoisett Library is offering a gift-making workshop for all ages on Wednesday, December 12, beginning at 3:30 p.m. All materials are provided and attendance is free. Those interested in participating are asked to register with the library by calling 508-748-4171.


Listen to some holiday classics this season, live.

The Sippican Choral Society is inviting everyone to its annual “Holiday Concert.”

Organizers say the concert promises to usher in the spirit of the season. Under the direction of Tianxu Zhou, Director of Musical Arts, and accompanist Michelle Gordon, the concert will include pieces such as “Christmas Day," “O Gracious Light," “Heilige Nacht,"  as well as a few others.

The concerts will be held on Friday, December 1  at 8 p.m. at St. Lawrence Church in New Bedford and Sunday, December 3 at 4 p.m. at Wickenden Chapel, Tabor Academy, Marion.

Ticket prices are $15  for general admission and $5 for students. Children six years and under are given free admission. Tickets may be purchased in advance from The Bookstall in Marion, The Symphony Shop in Dartmouth, No Kidding in Mattapoisett, Euro in Fairhaven, or at the door on the day of the concerts. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Meanwhile, Tabor Academy will bring back its “Festival of Lessons and Carols” on Sunday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free for all who wish to attend, and the service will also be live-streamed to Tabor Academy’s Facebook page.

The Tri-County Symphonic Band, under the direction of Philip Sanborn, will celebrate the holiday season with its annual Children’s Christmas Concert, on Sunday, December 10, at 1:30 p.m. The concert will be held at Sippican School,  in the Multi-Purpose Room.

The band will perform seasonal favorites including “Bells," “A Christmas Festival," “An American Christmas," "Three Moods of Hanukkah" and “A Charlie Brown Christmas."

A special part of this year’s concert will feature the Sippican School Concert Choir, under the direction of Patricia Richard, performing a lovely setting of “Jingle Bell Rock," "The Little Drummer Boy" and a colorful arrangement of "Feliz Navidad."

The concert will conclude with a “Christmas Sing-A-Long” featuring the Sippican School Concert Choir and special guests. They will be followed by a volunteer community band called the "Cottage Street Jam Band," under the direction of Hannah Moore, leading a march from the Sippican School to Island Wharf to greet Santa as he arrives via “water sleigh."

The Occasion Singers are hosting a holiday concert on December 15, from 6:30-9 p.m. at Marion’s First Congregational Church.