By Gail Burns
Shop ‘til You Drop: Let’s face it, we’re all going to be buying some gifts in the coming weeks, and luckily there are a pile of events where you can buy directly from local artists, craftspeople, and farmers. MCLA Gallery 51’s annual affordable art show “Spectacle 99” December 3-27. Jackie Sedlock Pottery holiday sale on Mason Hill in Pownal December 5 from noon-5 pm. The First Congregational Church of Williamstown hosts the ABC Jewelry Sale and an Alternative Gift Fair December 5 from 2-6 pm. Adams Boy Scout Troop 38 Holiday Fair at the United Cerebral Palsy building December 5 from 8 am-5 pm. Craft Show at the North Adams Elks Lodge December 5 from 10:30 am-4:30pm & December 6 from 9:30 am-2 pm. Williamstown Elementary School Craft Fair December 6 from 9 am-4 pm. Craft Fair on the Hill at Pine Cobble School December 12 from 9 am-3 pm.Wrap It Up! with pottery from local artisans at Hops & Vines December 17 from 4-8 pm. Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market December 20 from 10 am-2 pm at the Towne Field House.
Seasonal Staples: Head to South Street in Pittsfield for all your traditional holiday cheer. The Colonial Theatre hosts the Albany-Berkshire Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” December 5 at 2:30 & 6:30 pm and December 6 at 1:30 & 4:30 pm. Then Eric Hill’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” presented annually by the Berkshire Theatre Group, runs December 12-22. The annual Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum has a Wild West theme and runs through January 3.
Seasonal Songs: Meet in the parking lot of MASS MoCA December 3 at 5:15 pm to participate in Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night, an annual outdoor sound sculpture played on a roving swarm of boomboxes carried through the streets of North Adams (and around the world). At the Hoosac School in Hoosick, NY, (only 20 minutes from downtown Williamstown) the whole school participates in the 124th annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log pageant on December 10 at 7:30 pm in Memorial Hall. The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols is held in Thompson Memorial Chapel at Williams College at 4 pm on December 12 & 13. And the 42nd annual 1753 House Carol Sing takes place at 7 pm on December 20, Field Park. (Rain/snow date December 22.)
Seasonal Stories: Actors from Mill City Productions’ read classic, family friendly Christmas stories at “Fireside Yuletide” December 11 at 7 pm and December 12 & 13 at 4 pm. The less traditionally minded should stop by the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield for the WordXWord Strange Holiday Story Slam on December 20 at 3 pm.
Home for the Holidays: On December 18 at 6 pm Barntone Records presents a festive evening of music featuring regional favorites Long Journey, Good Good, Jeb Barry, Northern Spy, Rosin the Beaux, Duo Eamon, Gordon Holey, and Singing School at The Williams Inn. The evening benefits Higher Ground dedicated to helping the 300 residents of The Spruces displaced by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Admission $15-$20 at the door.