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December 9, 2014 – Boston, MA – There are plenty of ways to beat the winter blues in Massachusetts. Despite the colder weather, these upcoming festivals give locals and visitors alike reasons to get out and celebrate the season.

November/December

Following huge success in its first two years, Blink! returns to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, bringing nightly performances from the Holiday Pops and dazzling light shows November 22 through January 4. The event culminates with THE ICE, a collection of ice sculptures complemented by live street performances December 30, 31 and January 1. http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/blink

ZooLights is already underway at Stone Zoo, where thousands of twinkling lights create a winter wonderland complete with reindeer (available for photos ops), special visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and contests and giveaways for visitors. ZooLights lasts through January 4; visit the website for the complete schedule. http://www.zoonewengland.org/engage/zoolights

Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights is arguably the most-loved festival of its kind, having earned generations of loyal fans. Available for select dates in November and throughout December, passengers relax comfortably in warm coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday setting featuring an explosion of lights. Kids of all ages will enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides and a visit with Santa in one of the indoor play areas at Edaville in Carver, MA. http://www.edaville.com/

Visitors and locals alike can experience Boston’s famous Freedom Trail anew with the Historic Holiday Stroll, available through January. Reservations are required for the special tour, which revisits the days of the American Revolution and the premier of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol before wrapping up with hot chocolate, wine, or tea and Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House Hotel. http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/book-tour/public-holiday-stroll.shtml

Martha’s Vineyard may be typically a summer getaway, but the island comes alive in December for the annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration. December 12-14, the historic island town turns on the charm with events including the Annual Great Chowder Contest, a Christmas parade, the Lighting of the Lighthouse at the Harbor View Hotel, and events to benefit island charities. http://edgartownboardoftrade.com/events/christmas-in-edgartown/

For potato pancake lovers, Harvard Square is the spot to be on December 20 for the “Some Like it Hot” Everyone Loves Latkes Party. For the 8th consecutive year, local restaurants donate the most delicious and creative latkes for free enjoyment. www.harvardsquare.com

Three miles of lights span from “North Pole Village” to the children’s literature-inspired “Seuss Land” at Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield, MA. This year marks the 20th season of Bright Nights, which will light up every night through January 4, 2015. www.brightnights.org

Popular winter sports destination Wachusett Mountain invites families to join them for the Polar Express Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 20. The day includes a showing of the movie Polar Express, arts and crafts activities, a holiday sing-a-long, and a visit from Santa Claus. http://www.wachusett.com/EventsActivities/CalendarofEvents/PolarExpressCelebration/tabid/299/Default.aspx

 

January/February

The 12th Boston Celtic Music Fest returns to Harvard Square January 9-11, 2015. Known as the BCMFest, the event showcases more than 100 of the area’s best musicians, singers, and dancers from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions. http://www.clubpassim.org/BCMFest

An annual favorite, the Boston Wine Expo will celebrate wine, food and culture on February 14 & 15 at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center. More than 2,000 wines will be poured from over 200 worldwide wineries. The event also includes two celebrity chef stages and 25 seminars. www.wineexpoboston.com

North Adams aims to engage locals and visitors with a chowder competition, horse-drawn wagon rides, roasted marshmallows and more at the North Adams WinterFest, taking place February 15. http://www.explorenorthadams.com/THINGS-TO-DO/Events/Winter-Fest.aspx

Registration opens soon for the Human Dogsled Competition at the Lowell WinterFest, set for February 20 & 21. Other activities include free ice skating, snowman building, live music, parties, and more. http://www.lowell.org/Pages/Winterfest.aspx/

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs. massvacation.com

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For more information, contact: 

Annie Moloney, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

617 – 973-8531

annie.moloney@state.ma.us

or

Molly Kravitz, Public Relations Manager

Connelly Partners

Mobile # 317-919-5252 ~ Office # 617-521-5431

mkravitz@connellypartners.com