Holiday cheer aplenty as annual Padanaram Christmas festival returns

Dec 4, 2021

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas in Padanaram.

After last year’s Covid cancellation, the village streets were once again filled with families on Saturday as they checked out a variety of holiday events and activities and shopped at local businesses during the village’s annual Christmas Festival.

“Now more than ever, people are craving normalcy again,” said Molly Armando, a member of the Dartmouth Moms Group, which helped set up this year’s festivities with the Padanaram Business Association.

Throughout the day, kids had the chance to meet Santa Claus, listened to stories told by “Professor Kringle,” and Lt. Gov Karyn Polito, who owns a home in town, capped off the festivities by lighting the tree

On the Farm & Coast Market patio, kids were able to write letters to Santa. 

Six-year-old twins Mackenzie and Madison Ferreira said they were very happy to be able to send Santa their Christmas wishes. While Madison said she “can’t remember” what she wanted for Christmas, sister Mackenzie said she hopes to get some LOL Surprise dolls.

“That’s what I want,” she said.

Outside the Milbury Real Estate office, associate Margo Choquette and broker Maggie Tomkiewicz handed out popcorn to dozens of families.

Tomkiewicz has been participating in the festival for the past 30 years and said she never tired of it.

“You do it for the community,” she said.

“Although you do smell a bit bad after it,” Choquette said with a laugh.

The Cultural Center also opened its doors to kick off its annual Holiday Exhibit. This year’s exhibition boasts 120 pieces from 43 different artists. 

Works include watercolor landscapes, acrylic portraits, and a variety of abstracts.

“There’s much diversity,” said Gallery Coordinator Jill Law.

The exhibition will run though Dec 19. Hours are 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To cap off the festivities, residents gathered at the maritime center to see the lighting of the village’s first ever buoy tree.

The honor of lighting the new tree went to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who has a home in town.

“It was time we bring a little more joy and happiness to our village,” Polito said. “After 22 months of challenging times, it was beautiful to see people come together in the community they love.”

Residents have the chance to place bids on the hand-decorated buoys. The auction runs through Dec. 15. 

To place a bid, or scan the QR code featured on the tree.

Armando said she was very pleased with the turnout in the festival’s return and is already looking forward to collaborating with the Padanaram Business Association for 2022.

“Every year it’s only going to get bigger and better,” she said.