Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 19, 2013

Out & About: Holiday, solstice celebrations


The annual half-hour reenactment of the Christmas story includes a cast of children, youths and adults and a stable of live animals provided by Ironstone and Herb Hill farms.

Through drama, gospel narration and carols, the audience will share in the miracle of Christmas through the reenactment, which will incorporate such modern-day stories as the “Littlest Angel” and the “Little Drummer Boy.” Blake Martin will portray Basil, the innkeeper, and Jim Olson is the narrator.

Refreshments in Fellowship Hall and a chance to photograph the living nativity scene will follow the presentation. The Ministry of Outreach will be accepting nonperishable food items at the archway prior to the pageant for donation to local food pantries.

For more information, call West Parish Church at 978-475-3528 or visit

Ringing in the winter solstice

The Shawsheen River Watershed Association hosts its fourth annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Serio’s Grove, 47 Lowell Junction Road, Andover.

The group will meet and park in the field starting at 4:30 p.m., and then begin a short, five-minute walk through the woods to the pavilion at 5.

The program will feature a short presentation on the astronomy, history and folklore of the winter solstice, interspersed with entertainment by local musicians. Solstice observers should bring bells to ring as the Holly King Banner is retired and the Oak King Banner is raised to symbolize the time of lengthening days.

A campfire for the roasting of marshmallows for s’mores will follow. Individuals should bring their own supplies and beverages; alcoholic drinks are not allowed. Admission is free; the public is invited.

Bidding farewell to shortest day

Harold Parker State Forest heralds the arrival of the winter solstice on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. off Route 114 in North Andover.

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