To kick off the holiday spirit, the 51st annual Marblehead Christmas Walk will take place this weekend with over-the-top holiday festivities including a Tree Lighting, Santa’s arrival by a lobster boat, the holiday parade and so much more!
The Marblehead Christmas Walk commenced in the 1970s with a weekend-long event where community members and families shopped around town keeping it local.
Twenty years ago, Leslie Gould, director of the Chamber of Commerce, presented the idea for a parade during the signature event, the parade was then added to this weekend-long event where more 30 local businesses and organizations showcase what they do.
The Christmas Walk takes place in four days, an evening and three days to be exact. Starting on Thursday, Dec. 1, the event will begin with a soft kick-off where shoppers and community members are welcome to shop late from 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.
On Friday, Dec. 2, the night will start around 5:30 p.m. with live music and featuring non-profit organizations with tents and tables hosting giveaways and allowing non-profits to share their information.
“It’s a nice opportunity at the tree lighting for some of the nonprofits who might not have a brick-and-mortar storefront to be able to share their information and have a presence and we love being able to do that for our nonprofit organizations,” said Kathrine Koch, head of the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce.
At 7 p.m., the tree lighting will take place across from the National Grand Bank parking lot at 91 Pleasant St. with the presence of local performances including the Marblehead Public School choir.
Brian Wheeler, the “Person of the Year,” awarded by the Chamber of Commerce in September will light the Christmas tree.
After the annual tree lighting, Mud Puddle Toys will light their Lobster Pot Tree made from lobster traps at the corner of Washington Street for children to enjoy. Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, local Revolutionary War reenactors, will be present to sing sea shanties.
“It’s really well received by some of our younger community members, kids, and families. It’s a really sweet little tradition,” said Koch.
Throughout the magical night, the festival or arts, Marblehead Boosters, and Sustainable Marblehead will be present to share the excitement with the community.
“It’s a fantastic night where a bunch of the community will gather,” said Koch.
Saturday, Dec. 3 is the biggest day of the finest holiday Christmas Walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the landing of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a local family is chosen through an auction item at the Taste of Town event a few weeks ago.
The lucky winners will arrive by lobster boat at the Landing Restaurant.
“It’s the place to be Saturday morning,” said Koch.
During the long-awaited, magical, and busy morning, Santa and Mrs. Claus will then take photos with the children with the presence of a DJ playing Holiday Music.
At around 11: 45 a.m., the roughly two-mile-long parade will start and leave State Street going through Upstate St. then Washington St. turning onto Atlantic Ave. making their way to the National Grand Bank.
“From Atlantic Avenue, it goes all the way to the Police station and we take a right Gerry Street and another right on to Pleasant Street and this is a really nice addition that we’ve done in the past, I would say 10 years or so because in the beginning it was only really Washington Street and Atlantic Street we have shops along Pleasant Street and we wanted them to have that excitement and that parade presence as well. So, we’ve extended the parade route to continue down Pleasant Street through the end at National Grand bank.” Said Koch.
Those who attend the parade will see organizations and local businesses participating including, the Lynch/Van Otterloo YMCA, the Ocean Breeze School, the America Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts, The Marblehead High School Marching Band, Marblehead School of Ballet, North Shore Gymnastics YMCA – Phoenix, Pleon Yacht Club, North Shore Elite Cheerleading – YMCA, Marblehead Softball Little League, Premier Martial Arts Swampscott, Creature Comforts & Pawsitively Marblehead (CCPAWS), Marblehead High School Boosters, Marblehead Youth Hockey, Tower School, Marblehead Girl Scouts, Sustainable Marblehead and the Marblehead Youth Lacrosse are confirmed.
During the Parade, those who attend can park for free at the Marblehead High School Parking lot on 2 Humphrey St. then hop on a free trolley service that goes around the Christmas Walk. This year, the Trolley will be available on Saturday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
New this year, Our Lady Star of the Sea at 80 Atlantic Ave. will host a living nativity and Petting Zoo exhibit, having live farm animals on Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. through 3 p.m. infront of the church.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, families and community members can enjoy the Artisan’s Market at Abbot Hall at 188 Washington St. from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. run by the Marblehead Festival of Arts.
Dogs will also have a chance to take photos with Santa from Noon until 2 p.m. at 52B Atlantic Ave.
On Sunday, Hot Chocolate and Cookies will be served at noon at the Mariner Marblehead, and from there live music will be performed by Molly Williams and the Shooting Stars from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Abbot Hall at 188 Washington St.
The signature event will finish up its four-day festivities at 7:30 p.m. with a festival Chorus Holiday Concert at Old North Church on 35 Washington St.
For more information on events happing during the long Weekend Christmas Walk please visit, https://mailchi.mp/2d68036772d5/2022-marblehead-christmas-walk