A Quintessential Small Town Christmas Celebration: Sutton Chain of Lights
Each year Central Massachusetts welcomes visitors to the annual Sutton Chain of Lights! A day-long celebration in this quaint town filled with the Christmas spirit, family fun, shopping and an assortment of “old fashioned” New England experiences. The picturesque town center, with its white spire church and Period homes, is the starting point for the day. A free Trolley ride is available to transport visitors to the various events. Taking the trolley from stop to stop through the picturesque back roads adds to the ambiance of the day, especially if the trolley riders break into Christmas carols! Sutton shops, churches, farms, art galleries, school and Historical Society will open their doors with locally made products, food, entertainment and warm hospitality from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The day concludes with the lighting of the Christmas Trees and caroling on the town Common.
Vaillancourt Folk Art welcomes customers from throughout the region to enjoy the Christmas decorations, shopping, and enjoying the corresponding Mini Outdoor German Christmas Wine Market (feauting a Christmas themed cash bar, Germany themed baked good by The Queen’s Cups, and George’s Coney Island’s new Hot Dog Truck). In lieu of tours of the Artists’ Studios, the Christmas Museum will be open with our company’s biographical video.
There are three trolley routes to bring you throughout the town. The trolleys run from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and stop at each venue in 30-minute intervals. Customers using trolleys should plan on making their way back to their car location (if taking the trolley) at 3:00 pm.
The Vaillancourt Retail Gallery is open regular store hours.
Visit the official website for more details.
Sutton Chain of Lights History
In 1992, Gary Vaillancourt worked with the Worcester County Convention & Visitors Bureau (WCCVB) to create the “Chain of Lights” which was a multi-town program where local businesses would coordinate efforts to promote their services. Each event would feature a special lighting ceremony which would link all of Central Massachusetts as a “Chain of Lights.” During its 1992 kick off, it stretched as far north as Westminster Village Inn and extended through Worcester and Sturbridge Counties. The town of Sutton’s original participation was called the “Christmas Tasting In Sutton” where business leaders from Vaillancourt Folk Art, Pleasant Valley Country Club, Eaton’s Candy, and Known Orchards would pool their resources to rent a trolley that would travel between each business. At Vaillancourt Folk Art, the inaugural year corresponded with the Starlight Foundation fundraiser through the sale of the highly sought-after Starlight Santa. The first “Wassail Tasting” included a meet-and-greet with Tom Bergeron, then of WBZ-TV. As part of the WCCVB’s commitment to the program, the night would conclude with a town-wide celebration at the Common as the Christmas lights are turned on. Since then, many towns throughout Worcester Country has ceased their coordinated celebrations when the WCCVB discontinued the program. Sutton, however, continues to celebrate this event as their own having formed a local committee made up of volunteers, business owners and organizations, giving up countless hours in order to support this town-wide event for the next generation. Since the first year in 1992 with only one trolley and four stops, today there are several trollies among multiple routes, connecting a dozen town business forming a “Chain of Lights” in Sutton.