Rockwell re-creation

A crowd makes its way through downtown in 2019, during the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, which was marking its 30th year of the re-creation of Norman Rockwell’s "Home for Christmas” illustration for the cover of the December 1967 issue of McCall’s magazine

STOCKBRIDGE — For the second year, COVID-19 concerns have forced the cancellation of the traditional Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festival sponsored by the town’s chamber of commerce.

The performances, activities and events originally planned for Dec. 3-5 would have included the annual holiday concert, the Main Street Reenactment featuring classic autos, and tours of historic properties.

The “difficult decision” by the chamber’s board of directors followed “much discussion with respect to the ever-changing uncertainty” of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an announcement issued by Executive Director Barbara Zanetti.

“Maintaining the health and safety of our patrons, entertainers, historic sites, town officials, volunteers and staff is our top priority,” Zanetti stated.

Following Board of Health guidance and directives, many businesses are asking patrons to mask up indoors, and outdoors in large gatherings, the chamber’s announcement pointed out. Proof of vaccination is required by some cultural organizations.

“We strongly encourage all visitors to check with each venue before you go, to carry your vaccine card with you, and to follow safety protocols set in place by each business and organization during your visit,” the chamber advised.

The most recent, full-fledged celebration was the 30th holiday festival, held Dec. 6-8, 2019. Last year’s festival was all virtual.

The event re-creates Norman Rockwell’s “Home for Christmas (Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas)” illustration for the cover of the December 1967 issue of McCall’s magazine.

The original illustration can be viewed at the Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Glendale Road (Route 183). The museum is open weekdays, except Wednesdays and Thanksgiving Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The online purchase of timed tickets to ensure entry strongly is recommended. Details: nrm.org.

Despite the holiday celebration’s cancellation, Zanetti pointed out, “the town will still become a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights for the season.” The chamber has announced several “pop-up” events during the holiday season:

• Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Photo opportunities with a tribute to a few Norman Rockwell paintings.

Along Main Street, there will be a “Triple Self Portrait” selfie, Norman Rockwell cutouts and, parked in front of The Red Lion Inn, a vintage red car bringing the tree “Home for Christmas.” The Berkshire Victorian Carolers, a quartet of professional singers dressed in Victorian-era holiday costume, will perform on the front lawn of the Stockbridge Library.

• Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.: The Berkshire Victorian Carolers perform on the front steps of the Stockbridge Library.

Additional information: stockbridgechamber.org.