Bits & Bites: Celebrate Thanksgiving on the farm; volunteer at Christian Center feast

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Hancock Shaker Village invites bakers of all ages and skill levels to enter the Hancock Holidays Gingerbread House Contest. The theme is outstanding works of architecture. All submissions will be exhibited during Hancock Holidays, Dec. 6 to 8. Registration forms must be received by to day, Nov. 27, and entries must be dropped off between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4. Participation in the contest is free and open to the public.

Each submission should be an interpretation of an architectural masterwork (including buildings from Hancock Shaker Village, if desired). Gingerbread houses will be judged in three categories: adult, family, and youth (ages 17 and under). Guest judges will choose winners, and Hancock Holidays attendees will select the visitor favorite. Prizes will be awarded in each category. Each participant receives two free admission passes to the Village during Hancock Holidays.

Entry forms and a complete list of rules may be found online at, or call 413-443-0188 for more information.


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The Christian Center will provide Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of local residents this year, continuing the annual tradition established by the late Rev. Willard H. Durant in the 1980s.

A Thanksgiving dinner will be served at noon at the Christian Center on Robbins Avenue. Registration is not required.

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Volunteers are needed to help to pull off its annual feast for those less fortunate this holiday season. For those looking to volunteer, both onsite and as drivers to deliver meals, call the Christian Center at 413-443-2828.


Hancock Shaker Village will continue its Thanksgiving on the Farm tradition on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The historic Village will be open all three days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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The highlight of the weekend is Grateful Shaker Supper at 6 p.m. Saturday. Go back in time and savor a harvest meal by candlelight in the historic Brick Dwelling, accompanied by live music. Eat a communal meal as the Shakers did for more than a hundred years, then tour the dwelling. Tickets are $90 ($81 members) and may be purchased online at or by calling 413-443-0188. Preregistration is required.

Other events include:

- Tours, talks, and demos: Each day of the long weekend, five tours, talks, and demos will be offered. All are included with admission (free to members).

- Turkey Walk & Talk: A peaceful guided walk on the one-mile Farm & Forest Trail on Friday at 11 a.m. The walk ends in the barnyard, where visitors can meet the resident turkeys and say hello to the sheep, cows, goats, donkeys and chickens. This event is included with admission (free to members).

- Shop & Sip: Make holiday shopping fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Shaker Mercantile. This store celebrates the region's best artisan makers and handcrafted gifts, including items made at the Village by our own blacksmiths and woodworkers. Enjoy a mimosa while you shop. There is no admission required to shop in the store.


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