The holiday season is in full stride, and that means the town’s annual Christmas Nativity Pageant is set for today beginning at 5 p.m.
The event is coordinated by the Rockport Pageant Committee, in partnership with the Rockport Art Association, the Rockport Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Christmas in Rockport Committee. In the event of a rainout, the pageant would be held at the same time on Sunday.
The pageant begins with a torch lit procession which starts at Dock Square and proceeds up Main Street, with a brief stop at the Rockport Art Association, representing the Bethlehem inn, then continuing on to the stable at the Congregational Church. Along the way, the story of Jesus’ birth is brought to life through a live narration and Christmas hymns sung by a full choir.
The pageant isn’t the only Christmas event today.
At 2:30 p.m., the Rockport Baptist Church welcomes the North Shore Christian Men’s Choir in presenting its 2012 Christmas Concert.
Joining the choir this year will be special guests Scott Clements on trumpet and Colette Daniels on hand bells. The concert is free and refreshments will be provided following the concert.
Santa — the day after
Santa’s Christmas morning visit to Rockport, meanwhile, is being planned for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Dock Square.
Jay Smith, who is one of the organizers and remembers this tradition from his childhood, reminded anyone coming for the first time that this event does not last long, so if someone is interested they should not be late or it may be over.
Residents and visitors often begin to gather before the time of arrival, when children line up to greet the man of the hour following his round-the-world dash the night before. Others watch from nearby on the street to see the horse-drawn Santa go by waving to onlookers, who then go to Dock Square for their bag of treats.