Northfield gets ready for another ‘Special Day’

  • The “Special Day in Northfield,” set for Saturday, Dec. 14, will see free horse-drawn wagon rides starting from the corner of School and Main streets. Staff File Photo/Dan Little

  • Junior Ffrefighters escort Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to the festivities during a past “Special Day in Northfield.” This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/11/2019 6:30:43 PM

NORTHFIELD — There is something for everyone to enjoy this year at the 14th annual “Special Day in Northfield.”

The old-fashioned holiday festival, set for Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., takes place along Northfield’s historic Main Street and scenic back roads. The event features more than 20 events, most of them free.

“The day helps emphasize the sense of community,” said Joan Stoia, who, along with her husband Steve, co-founded the Northfield Area Tourism and Business Association (NATABA).

According to a NATABA press release, the festival will see free horse-drawn wagon rides starting from the corner of School and Main streets. Those who attend will be able to shop for holiday gifts from Tom White’s Pottery Studio, the Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts, Cameron’s Winery, the Buxton Christmas Barn and more.

“We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of our colleagues each year,” Stoia said.

An indoor craft and farmers market will be located at the First Parish Church Hall. The church’s fair and other gift fairs, including the Northfield Kiwanis Club and the Northfield Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization fairs, will be held in the school’s gym and cafeteria.

Children will have a chance to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even a costumed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, hosted by the Northfield Junior Firefighters program at the Fire Station. Kids can also make holiday crafts courtesy of the Dickinson Memorial Library and at the Center for the Arts, with staff from FirstLight Power Resources’ Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center.

The “Special Day” draws hundreds of people from across Massachusetts and neighboring states to Northfield for a day of seasonal activities. The cost to put on the event is covered by revenue accrued through NATABA​​​​​​​ sponsors and private sources, Stoia said.

Festive foods will be available at St. Patrick’s Church, First Parish Church, The Chatterbox Diner, Cameron’s Winery, the Northfield Food Mart and Mim’s Market. The local Boy Scout troop will be in attendance selling firewood.

Families can dance to live music as bluegrass musicians will perform on the porch at Mim’s Market. Celtic music will be featured upstairs at the First Parish Church and at Cameron’s Winery, and members of the Pioneer Valley Regional School band will stroll along Main Street.

According to Stoia, until two years ago, the annual event featured “strolling Victorian characters,” including her granddaughter, who would roam the streets in period costumes. After the group opted not to return, Pioneer Band Director Tim Burns was excited to join. Stoia said Burns wanted his students to give back to the community, after he recalled attending the “Special Day” when he was younger.

New additions this year are two performances of an Advent play, by the Still Small Theatre, sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Study Center, and a performance of Silverthorne Theater Co.’s comic take on “A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play” at the Centennial House Bed and Breakfast at 7 p.m.

During the day, The Moody Center will offer tours of its grounds. At dusk, revelers can gather for a bonfire at the Northfield Golf Club. There will be hot chocolate and a cash bar.

The events are supported by the Northfield Kiwanis Club, Northfield Golf Club, Greenfield-Northampton Cooperative Bank, Kringle Candle, The Chatterbox Diner, Don Mailloux Realtor, Centennial House Bed and Breakfast and Greenfield Savings Bank.

For visitors looking to enjoy the “Special Day,” a complete schedule of events is available at

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.

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