Festival fun in little town of Bethlehem

November 7, 2013 by  

No doubt to the delight of Bristol children of all ages, nearby Bethlehem is once again gearing up for its 33rd Annual Christmas Town Festival. After the tree lighting ceremony on the green, visitors can again enjoy hayrides, photos with Santa, strolling carolers, and other Christmas music.

Over 70 exhibitors will offer handcrafted items such as decorations, toys, and wreaths, as well as homemade jams, pies, and other holiday goodies. The nearby abbey will sell wool from its sheep, hand-forged ironwork from its blacksmith shop, pottery, hand-knitted items, and candles. The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Gardens will offer a workshop on ornament-making and will be selling Bethlehem Christmas Town pewter ornaments at the information booth, as well as online.

Revelers will probably want to stop in at the local post office where, since 1938, the local postmaster has issued a Christmas cachet—a rubber stamp commemorating the original Bethlehem’s part in the Christmas story. Each year, a new design is chosen from local residents, artists, schoolchildren and US Postal Service employees’ submissions. To date there are 71 different designs from which people can choose when they visit the post office. Christmas postcard printing usually thrives in the area, especially once December arrives, as requests pour in from as many as 11 countries and all 50 states for the post office to send customers the postmarked and cachet-marked cards.

The festivities will take place on Friday, December 6, from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, and will run through Saturday 7, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in Bethlehem Ct. on the Green (Routes 61 and 132).