GRAFTON, Mass. -- For the ambitious family that found the strength to conquer all 27 “Frosty Stops” spread out from one end of Grafton to the other, this is what they found: three Santas, two Winter Wonderland Villages, 16 spreads of Christmas cookies, cider and hot chocolate, a cop in a dog costume, a stand up comedian raffling free haircuts, Frosty the Snowman and three petting zoos.
They were the warm up acts.
By day's end, Santa Claus -- another Santa -- had arrived on the back of a Grafton fire truck to greet Girl Scouts and townspeople caroling on Grafton Common before throwing the lights on the Common Christmas tree and bandstand lights.
On Sunday morning, there was still snow on the ground from Saturday, and by mid-afternoon the temperature climbed and the snow melted. The ice sculpture display, which was supposed to be at the Mill Villages Park, was canceled for the second year in a row.
Grafton Common offered the easiest way to take in a large dose of cheer. The Congregational Church offered hot soup, cookies and the Apple Tree Art’s ninth annual holiday concert. This year’s show promised to resemble a “tapestry with different kinds of music interwoven with percussion, ukulele, piano and chamber orchestra instrumental sounds.” They delivered. The sanctuary was filled with a large repeat audience capped off by a storybook reading by Selectman John Carlson.
At the public library, musician David Polansky, performed holiday favorites in the Children’s Room.
Across the street behind the Grafton Inn, was a caboose and two engines sitting on the train tracks. Sponsored by the Grafton & Upton Railroad, they offered railroad whistles to children
The Unitarian Universalist Society offered a reading of the Polar Express while serving apple crisp, hot dogs and a Kindle Fire.
At South Grafton, the Farnumsville Fire House was open for tours. Inside was the restored antique “Emperor” fire wagon and free tours given by Ralph “Skip” Michniewicz, who managed the building’s restoration.
At the Willard House and Clock Museum, decked in Poinsettia plants and fresh garland, Meredith Weiss, the museum’s program coordinator said they greeted about 250 guests to free tours and tea. When asked what motivates the staff to host an open house to so many people, Weiss said, “People say, ‘I’ve lived in Grafton my whole life and I’ve never been to the Willard House.’”