Holiday festivities planned in Hadley, Shutesbury on Sunday 

  • First Congregational Church of Hadley CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/2/2020 4:30:41 PM

A drive-by live Christmas pageant is being held outside a Hadley church Sunday afternoon, hours before a church in Shutesbury welcomes Santa Claus.

The First Congregational Church of Hadley, at 102 Middle St., is holding the pageant at 2 p.m., weather permitting. Various nativity roles will be played by individuals from family “pods” to ensure safe social distancing during COVID-19. All will be wearing masks.

Jean Baxter, the coordinator of the church’s Sunday school programs, said the outdoor pageant provides an opportunity to tell the Christmas story to the public in a non-traditional way.

“We’re not having any activities inside the building during the pandemic, so we decided to take the action out-of-doors and invite the whole world to watch,” Baxter said.

During the pageant, which will run through scenes several times, narration and carols will be playing on 107.5 FM on the radio dial.

People can park across the street from the church to view the pageant but are reminded to maintain safe distancing and wear face coverings.

After the sun goes down, the church will showcase its giant advent wreath, lit up with solar-powered candles.


At the Shutesbury Community Church, on Town Common Drive, the community tree lighting and visit by Santa Claus starts at 5 p.m.

During the lighting of the tree, donated by Ethan Stone of West Brook Tree Farm in Athol, there will be carols sung and Santa telling the story of Christmas. Safely prepared gift bags will be given to children.

Like in Hadley, social distancing will be practiced, with families encouraged to stay at least 10 feet apart from other families and everyone wearing masks.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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