Conjuring Christmas charm in AftonMany people have compared Afton’s wintertime setting – with its quaint shops and old-village feel – to getting lost in a snow globe.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Many people have compared Afton’s wintertime setting – with its quaint shops and old-village feel – to getting lost in a snow globe.
“I can certainly picture escaping into a snow globe,” said Afton Area Business Association publicist Deb Larson. “That’s a beautiful image.”
Folks will have a chance to experience Afton’s nostalgic charm Dec. 2 to Dec. 3 during its annual Afton Village Holiday.
On Friday night, which is Candlelight Night, there will be festive shopping with refreshments and music as well as horse and wagon rides, strolling carolers and an artists’ market, which will have a variety of handmade gifts.
“Those make wonderful Christmas gifts,” Larson said. “We really amped up the shopping on Friday night. We’re doing what we did last year – just amplifying it a little bit.”
On Saturday, which is Family Day, there will be a variety of activities for families that include breakfast and lunch with Santa Claus, a letters to Santa Claus station, going business-to-business collecting treats in stockings, a model train demonstration at the Afton Museum and a variety of holiday crafts.
Additionally a “mitten tree” will be set up both days. Visitors are asked to hang warm clothes on the tree, which will then be donated to Valley Outreach.
Getting back to tradition
During last year’s Afton Village Holiday, a couple thousand people attended despite heavy snows.
“It was absolutely beautiful down here,” Larson said.
Martin Stern, owner of Squire House Gardens, said the appeal of the Afton Village Holiday is that it gets the holidays back to basics.
“I’ve been trying to promote the event to be more like our store – peaceful, beautiful, aesthetic and almost an anecdote for people during the Christmas season when they get so nutty and preoccupied,” he said. “We’re trying to make the Christmas season beautiful, relaxing and fun rather than running to the malls and tearing your hair out trying to think of presents.”
Both Larson and Stern said Afton’s quaint atmosphere is perfect for that idea of nostalgia and tradition since it brings people back to the feeling of a simpler time.
“It makes it really feel old and comfortable, warm and lovely,” Stern said. “It’s really picturesque.”
Stern and Larson said the entire goal of the Afton Village Holiday is to help people step back from the craziness of the holidays and stop to enjoy the season.
“We want to be able to encourage a sense of community, not just a sense of commercialism,” Stern said.
“You can really take your time and enjoy the holiday,” Larson said.
The Afton Village Holiday will be Dec. 2 from 5 to 8:30 p.m., and Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout Afton’s Old Village. For a full schedule of events and activities, visit www.aftonholiday.com.