Brandon is abuzz with holiday activities

BRANDON — After a relatively quiet holiday season in 2020, Brandon will be a buzz of activity in 2021.

It all starts this weekend with the traditional start of the season — the lighting of the Memory Tree in Conant Square in front of the Brandon Town Hall. Join in the festivities on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. for the lighting and signing.

The storekeepers in Brandon have put together to plan of “Madness”-themed shopping events. The first one kicks off on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m. with “Early Moonlight Madness” at the Brandon Town Hall. There are 19 vendors signed up to sell goods upstairs and down. A large variety of gifts available for sale including honey products, lots of great homemade food, gourmet sweets and desserts, stained glass, goat cheese and much more. There will be Christmas wreaths and sprays sold outside the hall. Look for a 1965 Vintage Shasta Camper decked out in holiday style with lots of vintage items from the 1950s and 1960s for sale.

The Brandon Senior Center at 1592 Forest Dale Road will host a holiday bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plan on seeing homemade soups, assorted muffins and breads, as well as sweets to eat. Gifts to buy will include crafts, stained glass ornaments, handmade quilts, Christmas decorations and much more.

Then the madness really kicks in with Moonlight Madness Week! Monday, Dec. 6 to Friday Dec. 10, downtown merchants will offer a week of sales so shoppers will be spaced out and have room to shop safely. They promise unique gifts, one-of-a-kind items, and exceptional customer service. Vendors are promoting bargains, sales, specials and drawings throughout town, including a chance to win $100 in Brandon Bucks while you shop local.

During that week, the Friends of Brandon Library will hold their silent holiday auction. See what’s up for bid on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1-7 p.m., at Brandon Town Hall; many items will offer a buy-it-now option. Town Hall will be open the same hours on that Wednesday and Thursday, as well as Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A $1 donation accepted at the door, for a bidding number. Bidding will close at 4 p.m. on Friday the 10th. Winners will be contacted to pick-up all items by 7 p.m. Friday night. Payment by cash or check is requested.

A new tradition — it just started last year — returns on Sunday, Dec. 19. It’s the incomparable Holiday Reverse Parade.

In response to the pandemic, the folks at the Brandon Recreation Department, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Brandon Free Public Library and the Brandon Area Toy Project developed an event to celebrate the season in a safe and responsible manner that at the same time would be joyous. And it turned out pretty great.

A reverse parade means displays will be stationary and the crowds will drive past the decorated “floats.” We are pretty sure the parade will follow the same route it did last year. Drivers should begin at the entrance of High Street and Route 7, across from Green Mountain Garage.

The beautifully decorated homes on High and Park streets will be highlighted, and performance groups will be stationed along the way until you arrive in the parking lot in front of the Brandon Inn and Park Street businesses, where you’ll see the Grinch, elves, beauty queens and Santa. It’s a fun, family friendly event!

People are encouraged to bring jingle bells to ring, drums to bang, and be ready to wave to the amazing parade participants.

Those who would like to decorate a display with their families or immediate groups, please contact Colleen Wright on social media or at [email protected].

The Reverse Parade is schedule for 5-6 p.m. It follows one other pandemic-appropriate community celebration. The Holiday Decorating Contest will be judged at 4 p.m. that day.

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Brandon Recreation Department and The Reporter newspaper to sponsor a Holiday Decorating Contest. All Brandon residents are invited to join in the holiday fun.

Again this year there will be six categories judged, with awards given in each category They are:

  • Residential, Currier and Ives Division — Beautiful, elegant, “Classy.” Something one might see on the cover of Yankee magazine. Typically, no inflatables.
  • Residential, Clark W. Griswold Division — Over the top, Green Mountain Power-loving, inflatables, music. Contest organizers described the potential winner as the house for which a homeowner’s association manager would tape a violation to the door, if there were such a thing.
  • Downtown Commercial — Businesses within immediate downtown Brandon.
  • Out of Downtown Commercial — Businesses outside of immediate downtown Brandon.
  • Civic Buildings/Organizations — Schools, emergency services, non-profit organizations, fraternal organizations, religious organizations of any denomination etc.
  • Most Decorated Street — The street with the greatest overall display score will receive a street sign trophy that will hang on the end of their street during the ensuing year!

If you want to make sure your home is judged, send an email to [email protected] with your address and category; post a picture on social media and tag Colleen Wright with the hashtag: #lightup2020; or leave a voice mail for Colleen 802-247-3635 x211.

Everyone in Brandon wishes you a happy holiday season.

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