NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Christmas” Category

26th Norman Rockwell Holiday Recreation on Main Street Stockbridge, MA

Posted on December 9, 2015

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Travel the highway up into the Berkshire Mountains exiting onto secondary routes, and nestled in along the road going west from Lee is the village of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Home to renowned American illustrator Norman Rockwell for the last 25 years of his life, Stockbridge is where he created one of his most famous works. That famous rendering depicts Main Street in Stockbridge on Christmas Eve and was published by McCall’s magazine in a 1967 special section called “Home for Christmas”.   On Sunday, December 6, the clock was turned back in Stockbridge to the 1960’s era when Rockwell painted the Christmas Eve scene. Vintage cars “strategically” lined-up in the center of town recreating the Rockwell sreetscape…

A Joyous Holiday Season

Posted on December 23, 2014

By: Jacqueline Bennett   With the arrival of Ole’ St. Nick mere hours away, I have been reflecting on what a joyous holiday season this has been. It began with the Manchester Road Race where I bumped into a good friend followed later that afternoon with Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Mike & Melane (held at their daughter Maryann’s house – my niece.)   Maryann and Melane had put together four tables in the dining room to seat all of us. Melane and the two girls, Maryann and Michelle, then spent days preparing for the holiday company, some of whom drove down from New Hampshire. It was a lovely day.           Soon enough it was time for the Gingerbread House Exhibit at Wood…

Santa’s Workshop at Wickham Park a Storybook-Like Delight

Posted on December 22, 2014

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Santa’s Workshop at Wickham Park is a storybook-like delight. For more than 30 years, this annual event has been transforming a hilltop cabin at the park, located on the East Hartford and Manchester townline in Connecticut, into a holiday treat providing an authentic feeling of the North Pole and Christmas to some three generations of families. “It’s about bringing (Christmas) back to old family values. It’s important to us that everything remains the same,” said Chelsea Lowe, a staff member at the park. According to Lowe, Santa’s Workshop has welcomed nearly 150,000 visitors since it first opened and is seeing third generations of families return. She added that the philosophy of simplicity and authenticity comes from the top, Jeff Maron, park director. Santa Claus, the main attraction,…

Christmas and G. Fox & Co.

Posted on December 24, 2013

By: Jacqueline Bennett    When I was growing up, G.Fox & Co. in downtown Hartford, Connecticut played a big part in Christmas for my family. In America’s golden era of thriving downtown department stores, G. Fox & Co, a.k.a. “Fox’s”, was known as “Connecticut’s Department Store.”   Christmas shopping at “Fox’s” would get underway for us the day after Thanksgiving. It continued each weekend until the arrival of the holiday. My father worked in the city so the family rode into Hartford with him. We spent the day shopping then met him after he got off work. Often we had dinner downtown.   “Fox’s” was a magical destination at this time of year. My mother made sure we were dressed-up for these excursions.…

A Soldier’s Collection Jar – Remember the Troops During the Holiday Season

Posted on December 8, 2013

Write-up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb With so much discussion in the news about drawing down the United States military in Afghanistan, it might be easy to forget there are still American troops fighting there. Ann Walsh, the coordinator of Windsor, Connecticut’s “SEND” which stands for “Send Hometown Windsor to the Troops” is appealing to citizens to remember them, especially during the holiday season. At businesses throughout Connecticut’s oldest town “A Windsor Soldier’s Jar” can be found. The coins placed in those jars helps pay postage for the care packages mailed to American troops still in the Middle East war zones; SEND has gone from a high of 33 soldiers once stationed in war zones down to the current number of nine Windsor-related…

New Christmas Tree for Downtown Manchester Replaces ‘Charlie Brown’ Spruce

Posted on December 6, 2013

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb  The Christmas season was welcomed into downtown Manchester, Connecticut December 5 with the lighting of a new tree donated by Jeff and Dianne Hedrick. A twenty foot Balsam fir, it replaces a once 37 foot Norwegian spruce that had to be removed after Hurricane Sandy hacked several feet off of it last year. However, left without time to find a different tree for the 2012 holiday season the Downtown Manchester Special Services District decided to decorate the sparse tree and it was dubbed a ‘Charlie Brown Tree’ borrowing from the famed Peanuts series. The ‘Charlie Brown Tree’ drew more than the usual attention to the annual event. Arrival of the new tree just over a month ago…

Gingerbread House Festival Continues Through December 15 at Wood Memorial Library

Posted on December 5, 2013

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb A jewel of an event is underway, the 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Festival at the Wood Memorial Library and Museum in South Windsor, Connecticut. Seemingly tucked away in what is known as old South Windsor, inside the library is setup like a winter wonderland with gingerbread houses of all shapes and sorts displayed on multiple floors. From the whimsical “Candyland” to the “B Strong” gingerbread replica of Fenway Park field that will please fans of the 2013 World Series Champs Boston Red Sox, to a tobacco shed entry – a reminder of the rich tobacco farming history of the area, there is something for everyone to enjoy. History buffs will not want to miss an impressive replica…