If ‘Black Friday’ at the mall is not your idea of post-Thanksgiving fun, come to the North Fork this weekend; we’re the antidote to the alienating experience of mass shopping at big box stores.
On Friday you can rebel against crass commercialism by joining in a free, decades-old local tradition, the Southold Historical Society’s Candlelight Tour and Tree Lighting. And all weekend, people who would rather give unique, hand crafted gifts made locally instead of whatever bits of plastic have been shipped from China to fill big box store shelves have several special shopping opportunities.
For example, all weekend you can shop the 23rd Annual Country Parlor Holiday Folk Art & Gift Show at the Hallockville Museum Farm for the best handcrafted gifts on the East End. Or enjoy a spectacular designer show house and ‘Best of the North Fork’ emporium set in a transformed 1835 manse, otherwise known as ‘Christmas at the Show House’.
While these rare events headline the weekend’s happenings, they’re not the only things going on. For a full list, check out GoNorthFork.org on Wednesday afternoon to see the latest just as it’s published, or better still visit the site now and sign up for the free newsletter; that way you’ll be in the know just by checking your email.
Best of all, you can enjoy your stay at a discount. Visitors who wish to be properly pampered can take advantage of a Shorecrest special deal, while families wishing to bring the kids, or the dog, or people otherwise seeking a house instead of a B&B can scoop up a vacation rental at a special rate. Check out all the special discounts here.
The Candlelight Tour
Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Southold Historical Society welcomes the public to a candlelit tour of the many historic buildings in its Maple Lane complex. At each location hosts in period dress welcome you and can explain the local history in as much detail as you wish.
The tour highlights include Santa and his elves in old Pine Neck Barn and a blacksmith crafting nails and tools in the Blacksmith Shop. Crafty visitors can learn about traditional holiday arts including embroidery, rug hooking and knitting by watching demonstrations in the Ann Currie-Bell House. Kids who hang out by the old-fashioned cast iron stove in the Bay View Schoolhouse can make ornaments for the school tree. Period music beckons from the cozy Thomas Moore House, providing a perfect background for exploring the beautiful, traditional decorations there.
Speaking of music, musicians in period costume wander the grounds, entertaining the crowd as it visits the many buildings, which also include a print shop, corn crib, icehouse and more.
No mall schlock here; these centuries’ old houses and workplaces are carefully and beautifully decorated, with no two alike. The tour is free, and runs from 3-6 pm. The tree lighting, including carols, is at 5 pm.
The 23rd Annual Country Parlor Holiday Folk Art & Gift Show
Set in Hallockville Museum Farm’s historic Naugles Barn, this event is the East End’s most unique fine folk art and craft show. It runs all day Friday and Saturday, and much of Sunday. The handmade crafts and gifts include tree trimmings, baskets, rugs, Santas, vintage and rustic home decor and gifts. And the organizers really do mean “hand made”: hand stitched, hand carved, hand hooked, hand woven and hand crafted! It’s hard to imagine a more powerful pushback against the Black Friday mass-produced plastic Christmas shopping experience than this deeply traditional shopping opportunity.
Christmas at the Show House
A group of local designers has transformed the historic albeit staid Cutchogue Presbyterian 1835 manse into a beautiful showcase of holiday design and an emporium of local art, crafts, furnishings and goods. While there’s a small admission fee to the house—which goes to local charities—the experience of wandering the rooms and halls more than justifies having to buy a charity-supporting ticket.
What’s more, you’ll surely find a perfect gift or two (or dozen) from one of the many vendors. Check out the Facebook page or website for all the details. While this terrific event is open all weekend, unlike the events above, it will return for the two weekends thereafter. So come this weekend, and if you can’t get to the show house, come back again the following weekend and do it then.