The surest harbinger of the holidays in Maplewood is the sight of the Dickens Village Houses in downtown Ricalton Square. These eight miniature Victorian-style structures, which bring to life scenes from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, have been a beloved tradition in town for over half a century.
The houses are opening to the public this weekend, kicking off several weeks of festive holiday events including caroling, wagon rides, real live reindeer, holiday music and of course, the Jolly Old Elf himself.
Speaking of: don’t miss Santa’s arrival by fire truck this Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m. Later, hear local celebs and dignitaries read from classic holiday stories, and listen to the jazzy sounds of The Collectives, a band featuring local students. Mayor Vic DeLuca caps off the day with the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Saurday, December 10 brings horse and wagon rides through the village, reindeer from Edelweiss Farms and a holiday book reading at Words Bookstore. The 3rd Annual Maplewood Village Holly Walk is from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., with local shops and restaurants offering up holiday treats.
Don’t forget about Breakfast with Santa that morning at 9:30 a.m. at St. James Gate. The event will feature a continental breakfast, music and photos with the big man. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Village Wine Shop and No. 165. Click here for more info.
Clear your calendars for a festive afternoon of music on Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. at the Burgdorff Center. Said Maplewood Village Alliance manager Julie Doran: “We are thrilled to announce a new holiday event this year, a free Maplewood Community Holiday Concert by Swing Town and Our Concert Band. To put the whole family in the spirit of the season, selected songs will be performed in Ricalton Square starting at 12:30 p.m.”
Also in town that afternoon will be Jack’s Petting Zoo at the Square, and a Craft and Story Program at Maplewood Memorial Library.
On Thursday, December 22 at 6 p.m., the town will host the annual Menorah Lighting in Ricalton Square.
Finally, why not commemorate this wonderful holiday season with the 2011 Dickens Village ornament? This pewter replica of Scrooge’s House is available at Village shops and at Dickens Village – and proceeds will help to ensure that this wonderful tradition keeps going for another fifty years.