Arts & Leisure

Bristol to provide a ‘Cool Yule’ this year

FRANCESCO DABICA of Bristol slaps five with Santa in Holley Hall during Breakfast with Santa during Cool Yule in 2017.

BRISTOL — Bristol will be bustling with a full month of holiday activities and celebrations through December from wreath making on Dec. 1 to merry-making on Dec. 31. Bristol CORE (the community promotional organization), Bristol Recreation Department, local churches and civic organizations have so much planned that you should start planning your fun now.
“Cool Yule,” as it is known, is an annual holiday celebration that includes events, bazaars, concerts, activities and late night shopping. Favorite events include the Chocolate Walk, Breakfast with Santa, Community caroling, Christmas bazaars, and winter concerts.
Bristol Federated Church will kick off the fun with its “Christmas in Bristol: Advent Wreath Making” event on Dec. 1 at 10:15 a.m. It is at the corner of North and Church streets.
Another yummy holiday tradition starts the Cool Yule train rolling the following Friday, Dec. 6, which will be a busy evening. The 12th annual Chocolate Walk will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. downtown. Businesses will be open late and will offer a complimentary chocolate treat to customers that come in to visit. Spend the evening browsing the stores, nibbling a delicious chocolate indulgence, and getting the holiday shop on at more than 20 unique vendors at multiple Main Street locations. Look for the Tandem Holiday Market at 26 Main St. from 5 to 9 p.m.
Early in the evening, head to the town park 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 buy them online at bristolvt.myrec.com. The deadline to purchase bulbs is Tuesday, Dec. 3.
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.
The tree lighting gets under way at 6:30 with the dedication of Bristol’s 2019 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.
The next day, Saturday, Dec. 7, will have activities to keep building the holiday mood. Bristol Federated Church will host its Christmas Bazaar that day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also at 9 a.m. will be a craft and vendor sale at the Bristol Masonic Lodge. Deborah Holmes Watercolors will host a Holiday Open House at 24 Garfield St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. That afternoon, 1-4 p.m., Bristol Beverage will host a mead tasting.

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY!
Dec 13 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Bristol CORE has organized a fun community event for Friday, Dec. 13, with “Eat, Drink & Be Merry!” Everyone is invited downtown for shopping, refreshments and music. They can visit three unique locations on Main Street for a terrific selection of local well-known musical acts, with accompanying wines, ciders and delicious eats. Look for these musicians:
•  5:30-6 p.m., John & Lyn Elder at Vermont Tree Goods.
•  6-6:30 p.m., Zach Rhoads Trio at Tandem.
•  6:30-7 p.m., Singers of the Great Turning at Tandem.
•  7-9:30 p.m., Rick Ceballos & Lausanne Allen at Bristol Cliffs Café.
•  7:45-9:30 p.m. Bristol Folk Session Players at Bristol Cliffs Café.
The Bristol Rec. Department has invited the grand man himself — Santa Claus — to appear in Bristol on Saturday, Dec. 14. Santa invites area families to the annual Santa Breakfast at Holley Hall with seatings at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Santa will arrive in dramatic fashion and 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 will be available. 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 — in person and online.
This promises to be a delightful event bringing the young and young at heart together to celebrate the joys of Christmas.
At 10:30, Bristol Suites at 19 Main St. will host a Holiday Storytime at 10:30 a.m. that morning. For the more mature audience, Tandem will host Holiday Card Making that Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Here’s something that you don’t see everywhere — a Mr. Christmas Tree Pageant. Look for the Bristol rendition, which annually features teenage men competing in a fun contest as different species of pines. The six seniors compete in a funny pageant format that includes formal wear, interviews, talent and bathing suit portions. The pageant begins at 7 p.m. at Mount Abraham Union High School on Dec. 14.
The spirit of the season keeps rolling the next day with Christmas Cookie Decorating and Card Making at the Bristol Federated Church a 10:15 a.m.
The 36th Annual Community Holiday Dinner will take place Mary’s at Baldwin Creek beginning at 11 a.m. This holiday dinner, free to all Addison County residents, will feature turkey, ham and all the trimmings. There will be local entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus. Transportation is available through Addison County Transit Resources. Home delivered meals are available to shut-ins (you must call Mary’s for delivery by Friday, Dec. 13).
From 1 to 3 p.m., Holley Hall will host a Gingerbread House Decorating event on Sunday, Dec. 15. Houses are $25 each, with two or more priced at $20 each.
Return to the high school for winter concerts featuring high school students on Tuesday, Dec. 17, and middle school students on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Both concerts are at 7 p.m.
The Lawrence Memorial Library’s Friday Night Film will take a festive turn with the showing of “Elf” on Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
On the longest night of the year, Bristol will host two celebrations of light. First, on Saturday, Dec. 21, is the Winter Solstice Celebration at the Watershed Center off Plank Road. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Norton Brook Reservoir, Watershed Center hosts its annual get-together. Bring food and drink to share and dress warmly. Children are definitely welcome, dogs are not.
On a separate track is the Fourth Annual Lumen celebration of fire and lights. Audience participation is definitely part of the plan, with a Lantern Making Workshop at Holley Hall from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Create your own holiday lanterns in this special, free workshop, led by Art on Main, then use them at the Lumen Celebration of Fire & Light event. All ages welcome, and all supplies provided. The Lumen celebration will take place from 5:30-9:30 p.m. First watch the Vermont fire performing troupe Cirque de Fuego on the town green, then take part in a procession down Main Street and enjoy fire pits and food and drink in the downtown.
The holiday season culminates with a tradition that brings a lot of people to town to enjoy a night of music.
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 Night 2019 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. Kids activities start at 3:30 p.m. Music begins at 5 p.m. at Holley Hall, the Bristol Baptist Church and The Walkover Gallery. A button lets you into all venues. It costs $10 if purchased before Dec. 25, $12 at the door. People younger than 12 and older than 75 will be admitted free.
Look for a full list of Best Night performers and ticket information online at bestnight.org.

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