Moonlight Magic returns to Shelburne Falls, bringing holiday cheer

  • Members of the Greenfield-based fitness group MEGAdance perform to Christmas music on the Iron Bridge during Moonlight Magic on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Hundreds of people filled the streets of Shelburne Falls Friday night as the village celebrated the return of Moonlight Magic. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Hundreds of people filled the streets of Shelburne Falls Friday night as the village celebrated the return of Moonlight Magic. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Greenfield Police Community Resource Officer Laura Gordon and the department’s comfort dog, Officer Clarence, walked in the parade at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls Friday night and then stuck around for people to greet Officer Clarence and pet his head. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Santa waves to the crowd during the Parade of Lights at Moonlight Magic on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/28/2021 5:07:13 PM
Modified: 11/28/2021 5:06:45 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — It was almost as if Mother Nature knew Moonlight Magic was returning to the streets of Shelburne Falls on Friday.

As the event returned for its 35th year after a one-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, the weather turned from rain into the first snowflakes of the year to really ring in the holiday season.

Hundreds of jolly folks mobbed Bridge Street from 4 to 9 p.m. as they tried to celebrate a more normal holiday season. The holiday cheer spread over the Iron Bridge to State Street on the Buckland side of the village.

People lined the streets for the Parade of Lights featuring first responders, including Greenfield Police Community Resource Officer Laura Gordon and the department’s comfort dog, Officer Clarence, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The event is one of the busiest nights in the village every year and businesses like Boswell’s Books are happy to have that rush of foot traffic back.

“It’s an insane day,” said Maria Uprichard, Boswell’s Books’ manager, “but we look forward to it all year long.”

She added it’s so nice to have the event back because it’s in the fabric of the town.

“It was bad (to not have it last year) because it’s such a part of the town. It’s been happening as long as I can remember,” Uprichard said.

Jennifer Stuart, a Williamsburg resident hosting a booth with her handmade crafts, said it was one of her first times ever being a vendor and the atmosphere was great.

She added she was a little shocked at the number of people who came out to celebrate the holidays because of the snow and the blustery wind that was shaking her tent.

“There’s a lot of friendliness,” she said.

Other people at Moonlight Magic were glad to have a family-friendly event for their children. Turners Falls resident Marcia Zutautas said she hadn’t been to the festival in a couple years, but she was happy to bring her daughter, who had never experienced it before.

“It was almost like the before times,” Zutautas said. “I’m glad they’re still having it.”

New Shelburne Falls resident Sarah Burrell said the event was a nice welcome to the area as she watched MEGAdance, a Greenfield-based dance fitness program, perform to Christmas music on the Iron Bridge.

“I think it’s so charming. I just moved here and it feels very welcoming,” Burrell said. “It feels nice to have something so festive and uplifting. It’s great that they did it this year.”

Others, like Turners Falls resident Kelsey Perrett, were able to find that perfect holiday gift for their family member at the various craft stores and booths, like The Mill’s pop-up shop.

“We had some holiday shopping to do,” Perrett said. “I had to get a niece gift. We got her a stuffed slug.”

After shopping, Perrett said they were enjoying everything else the festival had to offer, with all the food vendors and holiday fun up and down the street.

“While we were here, we wanted to peruse for a while,” Perrett said.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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