Starting Wednesday, November 21 and continuing through the end of the year, the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is add color, light, and fun to this festive holiday season.
The Festival of Wreaths, now in its 20th year, opens the day before Thanksgiving and features a variety of wreaths, from traditionally decorated greens to unconventional materials and design, created by Nantucketers across all walks of life. Visitors to the free display may bid on their favorite wreaths in a silent auction to benefit the NHA’s year-round outreach efforts. Donald J. Dallaire and David M. Handy, the 2018 Festival of Wreaths Chairs commented: “It truly is the most magical time of year, bringing together Nantucket’s community to help support one of our most cherished organizations on island. We are looking forward to seeing all of the creative and fabulous wreath designs.”
The silent auction is free to the community and takes place throughout the duration of the festival, providing all attendees the opportunity to visit and revisit their favorite wreaths to increase their bids and their chances of winning. This year the NHA is offering an online bidding option at nha.org for a small number of wreaths for any supporters who cannot attend.
Tickets to the preview party held Tuesday, November 20, are available at nha.org. The Festival of Wreaths is open to the public November 21, 23, 24, and 25, with bidding and the display closing at 2 pm on November 25.
Friday, November 23 the NHA’s newest holiday display opens. The Holiday Houses include three properties on upper Main Street: the Hadwen House, the Thomas Macy House, and the Greater Light.
“The NHA is the proud caretaker of some of Nantucket’s most iconic properties, and the anniversary year of our two festivals is a perfect time to decorate and open the historic houses on upper Main Street for the holiday season,” says Mary Lacoursiere, The Peter M. and Bonnie J. Sacerdote Chair of Education and Community Relations. “The Hadwen House, the Thomas Macy House, and Greater Light each represent a different period of Nantucket history. They are living environments, and it’s only natural to have them decorated for the holidays in ways they perhaps once were.”
The NHA is also partnering with The Friends of the Nantucket Public Schools for its 36th Annual Holiday House Tour featuring all three NHA properties. This special evening will feature a tour of each NHA home and other private homes with a reception to follow at the Whaling Museum to tour the Festival of Trees.
Friday of Stroll Weekend, November 30, one of the most beloved of island Christmas traditions opens for its 25th year. The Festival of Trees transforms the Whaling Museum into a festive winter wonderland for the entire month of December. This event features community-crafted trees designed by local merchants, nonprofit organizations, artists, and children.
The NHA has named Kim Corkran as the 2018 Honorary Chair of the Festival of Trees. This signature holiday festival began in 1994 under the leadership of Corkran, then NHA president, at the suggestion of her mother, Lucile Corkran. “I would like to thank the NHA for carrying on the tradition of the Festival of Trees that my mom started during the NHA’s centennial year. I have always felt that it was magical, and I am flattered to be the honorary chair for the 25th anniversary of this wonderful event,” says Corkran.
“What a delight it is to see the halls of the Whaling Museum decorated with such spirit and our historical legacy of creativity alive today,” says Beth English, co-chair for this year’s event with her husband, Mark Donato.
At press time, there were only a few tickets remaining to the Festival of Trees Preview Party held on Thursday, November 29, from 6 to 8 pm, providing attendees with the first opportunity to view this year’s tree designs.
For details and tickets to the Holiday Houses, preview parties, and Festival of Trees display visit nha.org or call 508-228-1894.