Dartmouth celebrates the holidays with fluters, Nativity scenes, and a tree lighting

By Douglas McCulloch | Dec 10, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Ava Hallet, 4, and Alexia Hallet, 6, and Layla Ruiz, 6, meet with Santa after picking up balloons and hot chocolate.

Christmas might still be a few weeks away, but it did not seem like it on December 10 as several holiday-themed events were held across Dartmouth.

In Russells Mills Village, members of Smith Neck Meeting teamed up with Alderbrook Farm to host a living Nativity scene staffed by students at the meeting’s Sunday school. Kids dressed as Biblical figures sang carols and educated guests in the farm’s barn among barn animals.

The 15-year tradition has been held at the farm for the past decade, explained member Debbie Reid. Originally held at the Smith Neck church, it was brought to the farm for a more intimate location.

“Alderbrook used to bring the farm animals to us, but it was very difficult for them,” Reid said. “We figured it would be better to have it in their own barn.”

Next door, the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society provided plenty of holiday cheer at its Russells Mills Schoolhouse headquarters. Society President Bob Harding said the Fall River Fipple Fluters was invited to perform amid holiday crafts and caroling.

The event is organized around the neighboring Nativity scene to draw in crowds, Harding noted.

And further north, Dartmouth Parks and Recreation’s annual holiday celebration and tree lighting drew in a record crowd this year, noted Director Tim Lancaster.

“It seems like we have more and more kids here every year,” Lancaster said.

Featuring arts and crafts, balloon animals, meet-and-greets with Santa, and plenty of snacks, the event culminated with a performance by Dartmouth High School Harmonix singers and a countdown as the tree in front of Town Hall lit up.

Jennifer Fugate puts a sticker on her son Connor, 6. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Reese, 5, and Hayden DeGroen, 3, meet with Santa. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Families watch the tree lighting. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
(Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
(Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Students at the Nativity scene sing carols. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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