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Woodstock’s Most Charming Houses Deck Their Halls and Open Their Doors for Wassail Weekend

Dec 10, 2015 10:01AM ● By Kirsten Gehlbach
A Wassail Weekend favorite is the experience of the warm hospitality of old New England, when Woodstock’s most charming houses deck their halls and open their doors for what has become a quintessential holiday tradition.

The tour begins at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre and ends at Dana House. The houses on the tour are kept secret until the day of the tour. Dana House has been called “a prominent fixture in Woodstock’s historic village.” It was built in 1807 and remained in the Dana family until 1943, when it was sold to the Woodstock Historical Society. Today, the house with Federal-style details represents the era of a nineteenth-century merchant. Docents greet visitors at each home to provide historical information and answer questions. Several homes feature live performances by local musicians. Tours are at your own pace between 9:30am and 1:30pm on Saturday, December 12. Tickets are $30 advance purchase or $35 on the day of the event.

“We band together to support the town,” says Alita Wilson, executive director of Pentangle for the Arts. “This is an opportunity to collaborate. Organizations come together, businesses join in.”

The parade through town is complete with horses, wagons, bands, and the “Mummer’s Dance,” taught to the next generation at the end of the parade. “We all come together,” says Alita.

Wassail Weekend events include the New York-based Latin Jazz trio La Voz de Tres in concert with special guest Michael Zsoldos on Friday, December 11 at 7:30pm at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre. Tickets are available at or by calling (802) 457-3981. The trio includes Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, keyboardist Mike Eckroth, and Jason Ennis on the seven-string guitar.

The annual Messiah Sing is led by Louis G. Burkot, professor of music at Dartmouth College and artistic director of Opera North, on December 13 from 4 to 6pm at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, Woodstock. A suggested donation ($10) is gratefully accepted. Burkot directs a world-class ensemble and four featured soloists in a rendition of the Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah with the audience joining in for the choruses.

For the full schedule click here.

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