Where can you get a four-hour infusion of holiday spirit just 10 days before Christmas – and nibble on free food, sip hot cocoa or cider, and listen to live music? The answer, of course, is the Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll, a 1.5 mile jaunt along Route 6A, with more than two-dozen local businesses offering hospitality, entertainment and treats – all culminating with a tree-lighting ceremony at the Village Green.
The annual stroll has grown in popularity since it began some five years ago, said Jennifer Werner, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events for the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce. The event now attracts more than 500 spirited revelers, who brave December’s chill for the spiritual warmth of camaraderie, caroling and cocoa.
This year’s stroll is Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1-4 p.m., followed by the annual tree-lighting ceremony on the Village Green. And don’t worry if the weather outside is frightful. A free trolley will be stopping at key destinations along the route, Werner said.
One of those key stops is the New Church Preservation at 266 Main Street, where you’ll find attractions for parents, children, and even the family pet. The church will host live music from the Cranberry Shores Chorus and the Uke-Clectics, along with face-painting and a balloon artist for the kids. Meanwhile, JoMama’s New York Bagels will bring cookies and hot chocolate for all and PETiculars is handing out homemade pet treats.
Another mandatory stop for parents with children is the Captain Bangs Hallet House, where the kids can get free photos with Santa (courtesy of Walgreens). The historic sea captain’s home and museum will be hosting a special holiday-themed exhibit during the stroll, “A Children’s Christmas in Yarmouth Port.”
What else is happening? There are 26 stops along the route, so it’s difficult to describe all the attractions in detail, but here are a few:
Holiday magic? The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod will host magic shows at 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 3 p.m.
Soup’s on: The Optimist Café is serving Tuscan vegetable soup; the Old Yarmouth Inn will have butternut bisque; and the First Unitarian Church is offering corn chowder.
Cheese and music: Happy Fish Bakery will serve hot beverages and a choice of pastry or a cheese sampler, while the Northside String Band performs.
Frankly speaking … Jack’s Outback II is once again serving hot dogs and hot chocolate – an intriguing but popular combination (stroll participants are allowed one hot dog each, and organizers count the number of franks consumed to estimate the number of participants each year… so try not to imitate Miki Sudo or Joey Chestnut).
Sweet tooth? Design Works will hand out candy canes; Kinlin Grover is serving cotton candy; and Yoga of Yarmouth Port will offer candy cane tea and sweets.
In with the inn crowd? The Compass Rose Inn will have free coffee, cocoa and cookies; the cozy cocktail bar will be open for business; and singer/songwriter Kim Moberg will perform live music. Meanwhile the Liberty Hill Inn is serving hot mulled cider, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, with live Christmas carol music. The Village Inn Cape Cod will have cookies and mulled cider, and the Inn at Yarmouth Port will serve cookies and cider, while hosting an old-fashioned sing-along in the parlor.
After the stroll, the holiday festivities conclude at the Village Green, where everyone gathers for the tree-lighting ceremony. There’s a blessing from the pastor at First Congregational Church, Werner said. Then a child from the audience is invited up to light the tree, and the group sings Christmas carols before parting ways.
Find more information about the stroll on the Event page. The YCC site also has detailed map of the Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll route, with a guide to attractions at every stop on the route and practical information about parking along the route.
This event is sponsored in part by the Town of Yarmouth’s Tourism Fund.
Andy Tomolonis is a nonfiction author, travel writer and multimedia journalist.