Everything but the snow: Stockbridge rolls out annual Main Street at Christmas

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STOCKBRIDGE — Storefronts draped with lit garland. Electric candles illuminating the original Norman Rockwell Museum. Classic cars and trucks line both sides of the town center from the Red Lion Inn to the Stockbridge Library.

Only new-fallen snow was missing from Sunday's live-action re-creation of Rockwell's beloved painting, "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas."

The lack of the white stuff got mixed reaction from the young and old attending the two-hour event.

"It's nice if it happens, but personally I say no to the snow," said John Hart, helping man the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce mini food tent.

"I'm just glad it's not cold," noted Faith Bisbee at the reins of a horse-drawn wagon giving rides to grown-ups and youngsters.

However, four-year-old Hunter Phillips would welcome the frozen precipitation.

"I love to eat snow," the Lanesborough lad said waiting in line to meet Santa Claus.

The chilly, calm weather proved ideal for both attendees and participants during the finale of the chamber's "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas." The three-day celebration is based on the above-mentioned 1967 Rockwell artwork hanging in the current Norman Rockwell Museum off Route 183.

The painting depicts only 16 cars, but almost three times as many vintage vehicles were on display, drawing oohs and aahs from car fanatics and curious onlookers.

Richard Jack's 1934 Packard, the size of today's SUVs, got plenty of attention for its size and stylish look. The Guilderland, N.Y. man has always been fascinated by the luxury automobile.

"When I was a kid, I said to my dad, 'I'm going to own a Packard, [and] this is the most sought after model," he said.

Alongside Jack's classic car was a 1933 blue and pearl white Plymouth. Owner Bill Parker rescued the deteriorating vehicle from Canada six years ago that required a full restoration.

""I liked the body shape and the frame was good, but I had to search all over the world to find parts," noted the Cohoes, N.Y. resident.

Back at the chamber tent, a long line of people waited for chili and the highly coveted New England clam chowder.

"It's Red Lion Inn chowder — it sells itself," said chamber volunteer John Hart.

While waiting for Santa, Hunter Phillips shared his Christmas wish list with The Eagle.

"I want a [game] for my X-Box. I want a race car garage," he said

As for the boy's seven-month old sister Abigail, he hopes she gets "a wind-up bunny and stuffed flute."

Reach Dick Lindsay at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233


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