Festival of Lights set for Dec. 8

ARLINGTON - The Arlington community and visiting travelers are invited to share in the Santa Lucia Festival of Lights, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 8.

The day starts with a Arlington Garden Club Craft Fair at the Arlington Community House and Holiday Open Houses at Arlington and Manchester Inns and B&B's from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Santa will be visiting the Community House at 4 p.m. with a Christmas tree and luminary lighting and community carol sing also at 4 p.m. in front of the Community House, followed by the Santa Lucia Pageant at 5 p.m. at the St. James Church across the street, and concluding with a community Swedish Church Supper at 6 p.m.

Inn to Inn tours, including Inns & B&B's in Manchester are $15 and the Church Supper is a free-will offering, all other events are free to the public with a donation requested benefiting local community food cupboards.

St. James Episcopal Church, located in the center of the Village of Arlington, will once again host the Santa Lucia Pageant, which begins at 5 p.m. The pageant is an annual tradition set around the story of Santa Lucia and includes carol singing, readings and pageant participation by local youth and adults. The celebration honoring the Italian-born Santa Lucia, actually originated from 16th century Germany, and later spread to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. Santa Lucia was fabled to have been a healer and spreader of light and love, and during this darkest time of the year the community comes together to honor her and welcome light into what can often be a bleak mid-winter.

Because Santa Lucia was known for her courage in dispensing food to the hungry and poor in times of persecution. This tradition of community giving is continued in the context of this annual event, as attendees are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable foods for the Arlington Food Shelf to the pageant or to make a free-will offering at any of the events.

Both the Arlington Community House and Saint James Church are located on Route 7a in the center of Arlington.

For more information about the Santa Lucia Festival of Lights, call Amie at 802-375-6516 or email amie@sover.net.


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