Christmas in Grafton brings holiday spirit to town

Santa coming to town on the Grafton Fire Engine. Photo by Shawntae Webb

GRAFTON, Vt. – The quaint village of Grafton was glistening with a fresh layer of snow and tied up in red bows Saturday, Dec. 7 for the third annual Christmas in Grafton.

At the Grafton Public Library, gingerbread houses were on display for a silent auction. Each gingerbread house was carefully crafted and donated by community members of all ages. The auction winners of each gingerbread house were announced Saturday evening.

“I was so proud of all of their hard work,” said librarian Michelle Dufort. She was excited for all of this year’s festivities and to have so many people come to town to experience their holiday spirit. “I would love to see people from out of town too, like Saxtons River, Townshend,” and other neighboring towns to join in the fun.

Around noon, jolly Santa came into town atop the Grafton Fire Department engine, stopping at the Grafton Public Library to read “The Cat Who Saved Christmas” to the children.

The Grafton Village Store was bustling with shoppers, and MKT hosted a cookie-decorating table for the children. June Lupiani of MKT said the annual event “keeps growing and getting better… The whole community gets involved, not just the participating businesses, but also the Fire Department, the historical society, students, and teachers.”

The festivities expanded this year with more crafts, such as the gingerbread houses at the library, paper snowflake cutouts at the Nature Museum, the craft fair at the Grafton Community Church, and the bazaar at the Robinson House. The Grafton Elementary School had a table set up at the bazaar with their handmade ornaments, all by donation to benefit the Grafton Elementary School Outdoor Classroom, where students learn about the environment through hands-on projects.

A gingerbread house on display at the Grafton Public Library. Photo by Shawntae Webb

Wreaths, garland, and poinsettias were sold at the Grafton Historical Society. Christmas trees were across the street at Phelps Barn, sold by the Grafton Volunteer Fire and Rescue with proceeds benefiting the fire department’s scholarship fund.

Kevin Wolfe of Mercantile, the holiday event planner, assisted his shoppers whose numbers were “considerably more robust than last year.” Illustrator Will Moses was set up at Mercantile for book signing, while Steven Griffiths at the adjoining Grafton Village Cheese Shop had a spectacular day offering samples of cheeses, jams, and other delicious treats.

The Grafton Inn had beautiful Christmas decorations on display, and the historical society members were at the Brick Church eager to show off the restorations and give a brief history of the chapel. The building is now used for talks, presentations, musical events, and the like, while the church across the street is open for services.

After a day full of holiday-themed fun, there was a Christmas tree lighting outside the library, followed by dinner at MKT, and an evening concert by Seraphic Fire at the Grafton Church.

June was fully booked at MKT for the candlelit dinner that incorporated food sourced from their harvest season, including pickled and cured items and local meats. “We took care of the kids by day,” June explained, with the cookie decorating, “and the adults by night, with craft beers and wine,” and a decadent dinner.

Mercantile and the Grafton Village Cheese Shop hosed a public reception at 4 p.m. where a holiday basket drawing took place, along with snacks and holiday cheer. “The gift basket was awarded to Grafton resident Kim Bank who had made it around to all of the village’s participants to have her passport stamped,” Kevin reported. “The look of surprise on her face was of utter disbelief as her entry was chosen… and she generously shared some of the contents of the prize basket with another couple who had been eagerly awaiting the drawing.” It was a great holiday-giving gesture to end a successful festive day.

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