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December brings Chocolate Walk, Candy Cane Hunt, winter concerts and more to Bristol

BRISTOL — Bristol will be bustling with a full month of holiday activities and celebrations through December, offering great excuses to visit one of Addison County’s quaintest villages.
A yummy holiday tradition kicks off Bristol’s Cool Yule on Friday, Dec. 1, with the 10th annual Chocolate Walk, held from 5 to 9 p.m. Businesses will be open late and will offer a complimentary chocolate treat to customers that come in to visit. Look in the windows so you don’t miss any chocolate opportunities. It’s free.
This year’s Chocolate Walk will host over 20 vendors, in addition to Bristol’s first-class line up of downtown businesses. Shared across three Main Street locations — Tandem, Bristol Bakery & Cafe, and Vermont Tree Goods — the area’s best food and drink producers, and crafters, will be joining the event for holiday shopping and sipping.
Early in the evening, head to the green for the lighting of the Memory Tree. Once again the Bristol Rec. Department will sponsor the memory tree. The cost is $5 for those who would like to dedicate a bulb to a loved one. You can purchase bulbs at the Bristol Recreation Department office or you can mail your name(s) and payment (checks made payable to Bristol Recreation Dept.) to Bristol Recreation Dept., P.O. Box 249, Bristol, VT 05443. Please clearly print the names as they should appear on the Memorial Tree sign.
At 6 p.m. there will be a fun Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt on the green. Santa’s helpers will hide candy canes all around the park. Bring your flashlight and help find them. You may even find a special candy cane with a prize-winning ribbon!
The tree lighting gets under way at 6:30 with the dedication of Bristol’s 2017 Memory Tree. A beautiful tree will be lit for the holiday season, with the lights on the tree representing memories of loved ones who are remembered at this special time of year.
ARTSight at 6 South St., will host an opening reception for its “Fire and Light” exhibit, 5-9 p.m.
Cap the evening off with some music. Middlebury Community Wind Ensemble Winter Concert, with Jerome Shedd conducting, will perform at Mount Abe at 7 p.m. with a special offering for Bristol this year. Ken Weston has written another fine arrangement of Verdi’s music: the Prelude to I Masnadieri, featuring his daughter Alice as euphonium soloist. Ken’s grandson Niles and Alice’s husband Steve also play in the group. Also on the program will be music by Clifton Williams, Duke Ellington, and a salute to Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Be on the lookout for crafts sales and holiday bazaars.
Bristol Federated Church at 37 North St will host its “Star of Wonder” Christmas marketplace on Friday, Dec. 1, 1-5 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be baked goodies, homemade crafts, attic treasures, assorted gift baskets and a silent auction. Friday at 2:30 p.m. will see a Silver Tea; Saturday at 10 a.m. it’s time for Santa Claus. This market will also have a wonderful luncheon menu of homemade soups, sandwiches and cookies.
St. Ambrose Church at 11 School St. will host “Star of Wonder” Christmas marketplace on Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It will feature a craft shop, bake shop, mercy creation gift shop, doll and jewelry shop, wonder jars, silent auction, attic treasures, raffles and more.
Back at ARTSight on South Street, there will be Holiday Card Making from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Make your own holiday cards with materials provided. All ages welcome but 16 or under must be accompanied by adult. Come and go as you please. Suggested donation when you arrive.
The Bristol CORE organization has invited the grand man himself — Santa Claus — to appear in Bristol on Saturday, Dec. 9. Santa invites area families to the annual Santa Breakfast at Holley Hall on Saturday, Dec. 9. Santa will arrive by fire truck, pancakes and sausages will be served to all. The kids will delight in sharing their wishes with Santa as music plays, crafts are made and the elf helpers share candy canes and stickers. Carriage rides available from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Admission is $10 per person (under 2 free); tickets are on sale now at the town recreation department.
This promises to be a delightful event bringing the young and young at heart together to celebrate the joys of Christmas.
Celebrate the holiday tunes you know so well with friends and neighbors at the holiday concert “Songs of the Season” on Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m. at Holley Hall. There will be church choirs, a children’s chorus, local musicians and more. The suggested donation is $5.
The holiday season culminates with an old tradition and a new one. First, the new one:
The Second Annual Lumen celebration of fire and lights  will take place on Friday, Dec. 22, from 5-9 p.m. on Main Street. Experience fire performers Cirque de Fuego on the green, a lighted walk down Main Street and fire pits at Tandem and Vermont Tree Goods complete with hot drinks, tasty eats and handmade s’mores kits from Lu.lu. Wrap up the night at Hatch 31 with music and revelry. This is part of Bristol’s Cool Yule celebration.
The second and culminating town-wide tradition is Bristol Best Night! On Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve — three downtown venues will host music and other events all evening long. The schedule for Bristol Best Nigh 2017 was not firmed up by deadline for this publication but plans were in the works to host more than two dozen musical acts — plus a magician!

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