Rockport, MA ‘ Just about everywhere else in New England Santa arrives by sleigh, fire engine, or on a wagon. However, it’s only natural that in Rockport, MA Santa arrives by lobster boat. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, Rockport has packed the calendar with a multitude of singing, ringing and mingling events, perfect for the whole family. This holiday season, plan to spend some time in Rockport, finding the perfect hand-made gift or piece of art for that someone special, enjoying strolling minstrels, or attending one of the oldest Christmas Pageants in New England, now in its 70th year. It all kicks off on December 4 on the eve of Santa’s arrival and the tree lighting ceremony on December 5 and continues with events lasting throughout December.

December 4: Shop Rockport Night: Discover the quaint shops and art galleries that will be open for extended evening hours, offering exclusive promotions and special events. Shop amidst Rockport’s enchanting display of brightly lit, colorfully adorned Christmas trees.

December 5: Santa arrives by Lobster Boat & Annual Tree Lighting: Where else can you see Santa arrive by lobster boat? Santa arrives in downtown Rockport at 1PM, followed by hayrides and the annual tree lighting ceremony and caroling at 4. The Cape Ann Big Band offers two special holiday shows at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, at 3 and 8 PM.

December 6: ‘Seashells & Jingle Bells’ Inn & Home Kitchen Tour: Come experience holiday cheer, goodies, and hospitality. There will be demonstrations and fun events at several locations along with wonderful winter scenes, 1 ‘ 5 PM. Rockport Inn and Suites, 183 Main Street, is the place to buy tickets: $20 in advance, $25 on day of tour.

December 6: Rockport Legion Band Annual Christmas Concert: Get yourself into the spirit of the season with this special free concert by Rockport’s beloved Legion Band, beginning at 2 PM at the Rockport Congregational Church. (Rain date: Thursday, December 10, 7 PM)

December 12: Scandinavian Jul Fest: The annual Scandinavian Jul Fest takes place at Spiran Hall (corner of School Street and Broadway), 9 AM ‘ 1PM. Take in the Santa Lucia Pageant, children’s dancing, Spiran musicians, the Cape Ann Finnish Singers, traditional foods and gifts, holiday greens, and a luncheon. Admission is free; food and gifts will be sold.

December 12-13: Rockport’s Christmas Stroll Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, get in on the Rockport Christmas Stroll and the 14th Annual Holiday Gallery Stroll as shops and art galleries present special promotions, art works and refreshments. Featuring music by the Solstice Singers from Noon ‘ 2 PM, and holiday favorites by Quintessential Brass from 1- 3 PM. Rockport’s finest artists at galleries throughout town participate in this popular two-day event. Refreshments, demonstrations, live music and great gift opportunities are among the many reasons to stroll through Rockport this weekend. Pick up a free Gallery Stroll map at shops, inns, restaurants, and galleries throughout Rockport. Gallery Stroll hours are Noon – 4 PM.

December 19: 70th Annual Christmas Pageant: One of the oldest Christmas pageants in New England, this torchlight live re-enactment of the Nativity will take place starting at 5 PM along Dock Square and Main Street. Immediately following the Pageant enjoy a traditional ham and baked bean supper at the Congregational Church. At 7 PM Rockport Music presents its annual Holiday Community Sing-Along. This free event will feature the Triton Brass, as well as holiday songs by Rockport High School’s Madrigal Singers.

December 25: Santa Visits Dock Square: Santa makes one more stop to greet the children of Rockport at Dock Square at 10:30 AM after his long night of gift deliveries.

December 31: Rockport New Year’s Eve, 18th Anniversary Celebration: Plan to enjoy six hours of continuous family entertainment with 85 shows to choose from, starting at 6 PM. You will be entertained with clowns, magicians, music of all genres ‘ classical, jazz, folk, country, songs of the sea, and rock and roll ‘ story tellers, puppets, and much more! A spectacular midnight celebration in Dock Square with the ball drop and count down will cap a truly memorable welcome to the New Year. For a complete schedule of Rockport New Year’s Eve, visit

There are so many more wonderful Rockport community events offered throughout the holiday season. For more information and a detailed schedule of Christmas in Rockport events, visit Call 978-283-1601 to request your free Christmas in Rockport Holiday Calendar and Guide, or email