As I mentioned last week, Christmas-time is one of my favorite times of year in NYC. But there are some towns in America that go to the nines to celebrate Christmas. This article lists the top 10 Christmas towns in America - which town walks away with bragging rights? And how does YOUR town celebrate Christmas?
1) LEAVENWORTH, WASHINGTON
Your Bavarian Getaway transforms itself into a virtual snow globe of Christmas Magic. Crowned "the Ultimate Holiday Town USA" from the A&E Network and featured by Good Morning America, Leavenworth, WA welcomes you with Roasting Chestnuts, Holiday Characters, Old Fashion Caroling and pure simple Christmas Magic. Visit this charming village in the mountains to celebrate this special season and fill your heart with memories for a lifetime.
2) DURANGO, COLORADO
Old West Christmas Families use found items from the Old West for ornaments and trimmings, including cowboy boots as stockings, chaps as table runners or bridle bits as garland to wrap around stairwells or railings. They also have a Polar Express, where kids show up in PJ's, and they hop on a locomotive train which rides 30 minutes out of town to the "North Pole," where Santa is waiting and gives them a little bell.
3) WOODSTOCK, VERMONT
Words like "romantic", "magical" and "historic" are often used to describe this quaint village that has been called "the prettiest small town in America". First settled in 1768, Woodstock retains the elegant charm and rugged character of American antiquity. Wassail Weekend kicks off winter excitement in Woodstock! This festive annual holiday event is held the second weekend in December and features three days of holiday shows, beautiful music, a parade of riders, horses and carriages, a historic house tour, a medieval banquet, a 19th Century Christmas celebration at Billings Farm & Museum and many more activities throughout the village. Voted one of Vermont's 10 best winter events.
4) KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE
Kennebunkport and Lower Village of Kennebunk are nestled between the Kennebunk River and the ocean--"the port" being on the east side of the river and Lower Village on the west. Kennebunkpork Christmas Prelude includes a tree lighting ceremony, a River Tree Arts concert, a chowder luncheon, candlelight caroling and Santa’s arrival by lobster boat. There are three tree-lighting ceremonies – Dock Square in Kennebunkport, Lower Village of Kennebunk and the lobster trap tree in Cape Porpoise; about a dozen Art and Craft Fairs; approximately 12 venues serving either breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner; programs sponsored by the Historical Society; and 12 programs of music celebrating the season. Santa still arrives by lobster boat escorted by two very special “lobster elves”. The Kennebunkport Business Association’s Christmas Prelude is now in its 26th year. For each of these years, business people have worked with the community to recreate the spirit and joy of the Christmas season.
5) MOUNTAIN VIEW, ARKANSAS
The locals pay tribute to their centuries-long musical heritage by caroling in the caves, in a huge amphitheater located in Blanchard Spring Caverns, where the sound is incredible! Also they make corn shuck angels (made out of corn husks and string) that hold various musical instruments like fiddle banjos and dulcimers, and a guy whittles spools into ornaments.
6) NORTH POLE, ALASKA
Driving through North Pole, in any season, you will see why we capture the imaginations of visitors to our great state. When you visit North Pole, you’ll experience great outdoor venues, highly charged youth sports and arts activities, friendly faces and pleasant conversations with friends you just meet in the local stores, year-round Christmas decorations, and street names and light poles that reflect our motto, and now Santa Claus Lane boasts three beautiful traffic circles within a quarter mile—certainly an experience for the record books! No visit to North Pole would be complete without a stop at the world famous Santa Claus House. As an extra treat, mail your postcards from our U.S. Post Office (Santa’s Zip Code is 99705!) so that friends and family can receive mail postmarked from North Pole, Alaska.
7) ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
As the annual host of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, The Campagna Center is proud to launch Alexandria’s holiday season with the fresh scent of heather and the festive melody of bagpipes throughout the quaint streets of Old Town. The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend events, with the exception of the Parade and the Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, is held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. The Memorial is located at 101 Callahan Drive (at the intersection of King & Callahan) in Alexandria, VA.
8) MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN
Just a frozen 20 minute ferry ride from the northern tip of Michigan, this town of only 500 people celebrate Christmas like they did a century ago -- people travel only on horse and buggy, since cars have been banned for 100 years. Among the town's traditions, Santa visits every child to hear their Christmas wish, they have an annual island Christmas bazaar where they sell unique crafts and their decorations are full of lots of green, red and lilacs, which is a special local color.
9) NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Welcome to Christmas New Orleans Style! Join with us as we celebrate the spirit of our city aglow with twinkling lights, festive iron-laced balconies, and garland decked streetcars. Converse with Historical Characters as they stroll the streets of the Vieux Carre and share their love of New Orleans; learn the secrets of our award winning cuisine at Cooking Demos; visit our historic homes and museums decorated in festive holiday colors; and find treasured holiday gifts as you stroll our quaint streets and shop with our local merchants. Papa Noel hotel rates are available and make it easier to spend more time at Christmas New Orleans Style. Restaurants continue the French tradition of “Reveillon” dinners. The icon of our city, 200 year old St. Louis Cathedral, will host a variety of weekly concerts, and additional Special Events for all ages will bring family and friends together to fall in love with New Orleans all over again!
10) SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Every year the city dresses itself in lights to celebrate the Holiday Season. The Riverwalk slips on thousands of lights and the parks dress up with 40' Christmas trees. We've tried to give you a taste of what you'll discover when you visit downtown SA this year, whether you're a local or coming for a visit. Residents pull out all the stops to make this Christmas memorable, from piñatas and mariachis to riverboats and twinkling trees. Instead of turkey, they make tamales. Some of the traditional Mexican decorations include figurines made from cornhusks wearing colorful dresses. Finally, they stage an annual spirtual and spirited procession, "La Gran Posada," a moving reenactment of the first Christmas eve.