Nantucket Christmas Stroll, The Original Christmas Stroll

With community safety as its top priority, the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce has postponed the 47th Annual Christmas Stroll until 2021. There will be no organized Christmas Stroll for 2020. In its place, Nantucket Noel, a shop local initiative, will run from 27 November through 31 December 2020, allowing Nantucket’s residents to safely enjoy the magic of the season virtually, while still supporting local businesses for their holiday shopping.

Check our Events Page for up-to-date events — 2020 events will be added as information becomes available.
And to plan your island visit, go to for Accommodations, Dining, and more!

In 1973, the founders of the original Nantucket Christmas Stroll were merely trying to prevent islanders from escaping to Cape Cod, 26 miles across the Sound, to do their holiday shopping.
That year, in an effort to keep shoppers on the island to shop local, merchants kept their stores open late the first Friday in December. That initial Stroll, christened by merchants as a "Christmas Shoppers Stroll" a mere three hours in duration, was proclaimed a huge success. Shopkeepers entertained shoppers with wine, hot chocolate, tea, mulled cider, fruitcake, and holiday cookies while they perused crafts, books, clothes and wares, and other holiday gift items. In subsequent years, the event grew exponentially, drawing larger crowds until it became a nationally- and, ultimately, internationally-renowned holiday event.
Now, more than four decades later, Nantucket's Christmas Stroll is still held the first weekend of December every year. This event is part of the Chamber of Commerce's "Nantucket Noel," and preparations begin just before Thanksgiving.

Hundreds of decorated seven-foot Christmas trees line downtown streets, and are illuminated during a public ceremony with caroling at dusk the day after Thanksgiving. This Friday Christmas Tree Lighting is sponsored for 2019 by the Stop and Shop. Every year a local artist or decorator is chosen to adorn the huge 20-foot tree at the top of Main Street, a tree that "magically" talks to all who visit it during Christmas Stroll Saturday, December 1.

Also on Stroll Saturday, carolers in costume sing familiar holiday tunes at various downtown locations. A variety of live entertainment is offered in the middle of Main Street, which is closed to traffic for the day. There are craft shows, performances, special dinners at island restaurants (make your reservations early!), tours, and exhibitions. Many merchants offer holiday refreshments to shoppers.
Midday on Stroll Saturday, the Nantucket Town Crier, in full regalia, will ring in The 45th Annual Chamber Christmas Stroll presented by The Steamship Authority, and he will then lead everyone to the wharves to meet Santa, who arrives via Coast Guard Cutter. Santa will walk down the wharf, and then ride to the Jared Coffin House downtown to meet with children.

Starting Stroll Weekend, the Nantucket Whaling Museum is transformed into a glittering winter wonderland throughout December by the Nantucket Historical Association's Annual Festival of Trees, showcasing more than 80 Christmas trees designed and adorned with unique decorations.

Check our Calendar of Events for specific dates and times of holiday events on Nantucket Island.
© 2021 Yesterday's Island, Inc. | Nantucket Christmas Stroll is a Nantucket Chamber of Commerce Event