Moonlight Magic’s return to Shelburne Falls marks ‘a bright spot for a lot of people’

  • Hundreds gather throughout downtown Shelburne Falls during the 2019 Moonlight Magic event. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Luminaria line the Iron Bridge during the 2019 Moonlight Magic event in Shelburne Falls. FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Hundreds gather throughout downtown Shelburne Falls during the 2019 Moonlight Magic event. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Costumed MEGAdance Zumba members dance on the Iron Bridge during the 2019 Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/22/2021 3:07:51 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — A taste of holiday magic is returning to the village streets once again.

When the annual Moonlight Magic celebration comes back for its 35th edition on Bridge Street on Friday, Nov. 26, from 4 to 9 p.m., the community will reunite for more normal holiday festivities after spending 2020 apart.

“We’re trying to invite that happy, joyous, wonderment feeling again that I think has been missing so long,” said Amanda Carter, one of the event’s organizers. “The idea is to get us back into some normalcy, with caution of course — shops are going to use their discretion to decide if they want to make it mandatory whether people wear masks or not.”

Illuminated by luminaria and white lights, Bridge Street from the Arms Library to the Buckland side of the Iron Bridge will become a jolly pedestrian mall as businesses and local craft vendors offer special sales to help shoppers cross off items on gift lists.

Several holiday activities will be held alongside the business sales. It all kicks off at 5 p.m. on the Buckland side of the Iron Bridge as the Parade of Lights — starring Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch — rolls down the street. A boat parade on the Deerfield River sponsored by Adventure East will follow. Cider and cookies will be offered by Northampton Cooperative Bank to help children fuel up to go on an ornament scavenger hunt and visit Santa’s workshop.

For adults, the Arms Library will host a book sale, the Shelburne Falls Eagles Club will have a craft fair and The Mill at Shelburne Falls on Conway Street will host a reception for its Makers and Artists Pop-Up Shop.

Holiday trees will be located around the village and the Community Holiday Tree will be next to the Shelburne Falls Visitors Center. The largest tree will be sited on the Bridge of Flowers and the bridge will be decorated with items donated from the set of “Dexter: New Blood,” which filmed several scenes in Shelburne Falls in the spring.

Admission to Moonlight Magic is free and shuttle rides will be offered. Shelburne Falls does not have a mask mandate in place but all attendees are asked to bring a mask because each individual business may have their own face covering policy in place.

Attendees are asked to park at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School, where they can take the shuttle bus or a horse-drawn carriage to Bridge Street.

“There will be two different stops. It will stop at the top of Bridge Street where it all starts, and then the other stop would be on the other side of the river on the Buckland side at the Eagles,” Carter explained. “It’s definitely walkable from BSE, but it’s quicker if you have any ailments or are elderly.”

Carter said there is a buzz created by the event and it’s a great chance to get families out and about to celebrate the holidays again.

“Overall, people are happy to try and have a very joyous, hopeful event to feel good about the holiday season kicking off,” Carter said. “It’s a bright spot for a lot of people.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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