Northfield’s big day picture-perfect
Free horse-drawn hayrides are a popular part of Northfield's annual 'Special Day' downtown winter festival, as seen here in 2012. This year's festival takes place Saturday.
Recorder file photo/David Rainville
Donald Hubbard, of Winchester, N.H., drives his thoroughbred Morgan horses down Warwick Road in Northfield Saturday. Free horse-drawn hayrides are a popular part of Special Day, Northfield's annual downtown winter festival.
Local musicians Phil Watson and Friends were able to keep their fingers from freezing as they played outside Mim's Market during last year's Northfield's Special Day festival. This year's event happens Saturday, and Watson and Friends will return to Mim's front porch.
Ella Edwards, 9, came out to Special Day in Northfield to take advantage of some downtown discounts, and help herself to a generously-garnished gingerbread man at Mim's Market Saturday. Mim's owner, Kim Farmer, made 380 of the cookies for people to decorate, a staple of the 8-year-old festival.
Joey, 5, and Patrick Russell, 9, of Northfield, proudly display Christmas ornaments they made at Zig Zag Sewing Saturday. Northfield's Special Day winter festival featured several kids' craft workshops.
NORTHFIELD — Locals bundled up and boarded horse-drawn wagons, squeezing in some shopping before the first major snow of the season settled in Saturday.
They weren’t after lamp oil or some extra coal for the stove, but to join the festivities of the eighth annual “Special Day” downtown.
This year’s theme was “follow the music,” and area instrumentalists provided accompaniment to the event, playing in several spots downtown. While most acts played indoors, Phil Watson led an ensemble on the porch of Mim’s Market. They fretted their instruments, plucked, bowed and plunked accordion keys through fingerless gloves all throughout the freezing afternoon.
Don Hubbard of Winchester, N.H., provided his own tune of sorts. The clip-clop and occasional snort of his thoroughbred Morgans could be heard taking folks on a horse-drawn hayride. The black steeds were a contrast to the slow-falling snow, as another team of white horses nearly blended in.
“I love watching the horses go by,” said Terry Gagnon, owner of Zig Zag Sewing, just before one of the wagons passed her Main Street shop.
She opened in July and was happy to become a part of the annual event. Gagnon set up ornament-making stations, teaching kids to sew, stuff and decorate star and candy cane ornaments.
Tawnya Wickline and her sons Joey and Patrick Russell, 5 and 9, respectively, stopped by to make a couple and check out the store. They’ve been coming to Special Day for four years, and enjoy the kids’ crafts at several shops.
They always make sure to stop at Mim’s Market to make gingerbread men, which owner Kim Farmer has offered since the festival started. She has to make more every year, she said, and baked 380 of them this time.
She said the cold made the festival a little slower than previous years, but many came out in spite of the weather.
Ella Edwards, 9, of Northfield was determined to get her Christmas shopping done Saturday, and stopped by Mim’s to fuel up with a candy-covered cookie.
“I’ve gotten a lot of presents for people,” she said.
She started at the Dickinson Memorial Library’s annual children’s bazaar, where elementary school-age kids get to pick from several 50-cent items and enjoy perks like personal shoppers and gift-wrapping stations, which her older sister helps with.
She said she also found some great gifts at the downtown shops holding sales Saturday.
“We’re going to Fairview Gardens next to make carnation snowmen,” said her mom, Marianne Wilkinson. “We’ve been making a lot of crafts.”
Once they were done with their shopping, they were all set to ride out the storm at home by the fireplace, with hot cocoa and a Harry Potter book.
The storm held off for the festival, though a light snow-shower added some holiday magic to the winter event.
You can reach David Rainville at: email@example.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279