Published in the November 30, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD — It’s the most wonderful time of year.

The town will be ushering in the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 3 when the highly anticipated Country Store, Tree Lighting ceremony and Gingerbread House Contest return to town. The three events’ organizers are hoping for Mother Nature to cooperate and for residents to come out and spread some holiday cheer.

Country Store

The Lynnfield Historical Society will be opening its 54th annual Country Store at 9 a.m. in the Meeting House. Proceeds from the Country Store are used to maintain the Meeting House throughout the year.

Similar to previous years, the Country Store will be selling seasonal items such as wreaths and swags, and the Village Home and Garden Club will be selling decorated trees once again. The Country Store will be selling delicious food including Vermont Cabot Cheese, ham and bean dinners, jelly, jam, homemade baked goods and popcorn. Food will also be sold at Mrs. Claus’ Snacks and Lunch Kitchen. The Centre Club’s lottery contest will also be held at the Country Store.

Santa Claus will be arriving at the Country Store via Lynnfield fire truck at 10:45 a.m. Parents will be able to take pictures of their children with Santa during his first stop in town.

The Country Store will be offering a variety of different activities for children, adolescents and adults. There will be a tree ornament making for youngsters and the popular Santa’s North Pole Fishing Hole, sponsored by Colby Properties, is making its return to the Country Store.

Townspeople will be able to do their holiday shopping at Santa’s Five and Dime, where attendees can pick out gifts for their friends and family and have them wrapped on site.

The Country Store will stay open through the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Tree Lighting ceremony

Lynnfield Recreation will kick off the Tree Lighting ceremony at 3 p.m. when refreshments will be served.

Santa will be making his second stop in town during the Tree Lighting ceremony, and will be checking his list to see who has been “naughty and nice.” Parents are encouraged to bring cameras so they can take pictures of their children with Santa.

The community sing-a-long, led by the Lynnfield High School Tri-M Music Honor Society and Lynnfield Girl Scouts, will begin at 4:15 p.m. Selectman Chris Barrett will welcome attendees to the ceremony at 4:30 p.m.

The Tree Lighting ceremony will conclude the annual lighting of the trees on the Town Common.

Gingerbread House Contest

Lynnfield Recreation and Lynnfield Girl Scouts are sponsoring the 12th annual Gingerbread House Contest once again. Residents will be able to view this year’s contest entries at Centre Congregational Church from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 3.

Adults and children who enter the Gingerbread House Contest need to abide by the following rules.

• Participants are encouraged to use their imagination when creating gingerbread houses.

• In authentic categories, entries must be made from gingerbread using only food materials.

• Kits are allowed, but imagination is encouraged to make each gingerbread house look different.

• Accessories such as little plastic animals and trees are allowed, but participants are encouraged to keep them to a minimum.

• Individual entries must be on a base no bigger than 12”x12.”

• Group/family entries must be on a base no bigger than 24”x18.” Any larger sizes must be on two separate boards, and participants will be required to pay for two entries.

• Gingerbread houses must be dropped off between 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 at Centre Congregational Church.

• All entries must be picked up by 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

If residents do not pick up their gingerbread house by 5:30 p.m., they will be thrown away and a $25 clean up deposit will be charged to the participant’s account. All gingerbread houses need to be picked up through the rear entrance of the church on the parking lot side.

Lynnfield Recreation will present awards to the winners in the following categories: Most Original theme; Best Authentic Construction; Most Creative Use of Materials; Favorite Story Book; Best Replica of Notable Building; Best in Show; Best Holiday Spirit; Group Best; Family Best; Best Sports Theme; Best Adult (age 18-99); Best Teen (age 14-17); Best Youth (age 10-13); and Best Child (nine and under). The ceremony’s attendees will select the winner of the Viewers’ Choice Award.

The entry fee for a 12”x12” gingerbread house is $10. The entry fee for a 24”x18” gingerbread house is $20. The entry fee for a combination of sizes is $25.

In order to register for the Gingerbread House Contest, residents should visit and click on register for activities.

If residents have any questions, contact Recreation Director Julie Mallett at (781)-334-9488 or

Mallett encouraged residents to come out to the Tree Lighting ceremony and to check out the entries in this year’s Gingerbread House Contest.

“We have been very busy getting ready for our free annual community event this Saturday,” said Mallett. “Remember to vote for your favorite gingerbread house and then join us on the common for our sing-a-long before we light the tree. As always, we will have free hot chocolate and cookies while supplies last, and, of course, don’t forget to get your courtesy picture with Santa. Hope to see you there!”