Hancock Holiday Night lights up Shaker Villiage / iBerkshires.com

HANCOCK, Mass .– Hancock Shaker Vilage illuminated the minds of its former occupants with a wintry light show that mixes the old and the new.

During the month of December, guests can enjoy artistic light installations and festive decorations in the 19th century New England community. As a bonus, visitors can greet donkeys, sheep and cows in the round stone barn.

This is new lineup for New England’s oldest Shaker village and the hope is to make it a regular tradition. The event attracted an average of around 150 people per day.

“We built the event in the hope that we would continue to build it and build it and build it, I’ll tell you from the minute we shared information about it, I think in the 20 minutes, we had our first ticket purchase, “Director of Communications and Marketing Carolyn McDaniel said.

“I think people were happy to be able to come here and they wanted to come here at night, they don’t often get the chance.”

Artist Joe Wheaton has created projection illustrations for the experience that gives a modern take on deep-rooted Shaker traditions. His pieces are displayed inside and outside the round stone barn and on an additional barn.

Through a vision board, Wheaton and the staff created an interesting and artistic take on the history of the Shaker, bringing a modern twist to the historic images.

Customers start with the wooden frame, which is decorated with holiday trees that can be personalized with wishes. At the bottom of a lantern-lit driveway is an illuminated garden tool shed and chicken coop, which is a nod to Shaker holiday traditions.

In the henhouse is a staged “selfie” area where a 19th century holiday photo can be taken in front of a fireplace.

“He’s got the frame that came straight out of one of our photographs,” McDaniel explained. “We made the garlands on the tree and the fence around its base and we have the beautiful shaker songs sung there.”

The round stone barn glows with lights similar to the colors of the stained glass windows, channeling the feeling of a sacred space. The serene and sleeping animals under its roof confirm this imagery.

“We think it’s almost like our, our sacred space, our cathedral, if you will,” McDaniel said. “And so his [Wheaton’s] vision was almost a kind of contemporary stained glass window, this colorful imagery. “

After touring the village, you can enjoy food, hot drinks and adult drinks inside the on-site cafe or in front of a fire.

The next Hancock Holiday Nights will take place December 9-12, December 16-19, and December 27-29.

Shaker-inspired gifts can also be purchased from the store.

Admission is $ 20 for adults, $ 10 for children 6 to 18, and free for children 5 and under. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required as the event is ticketed in 15-minute increments between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

McDaniel said planning should be done as early as possible for those interested in attending the event. She added that it is a large space primarily outdoors, making it a safer option during times of COVID-19.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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