Attleboro Massachusetts is known for its Christmas Festival of Lights hosted by The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. For many families a holiday visit has become a tradition since its humble beginning. The Christmas Festival of Lights is presented nightly 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM from Thanksgiving to January 6.
The festival began in 1953 as a simple outdoor inspirational manger. It has grown to an estimated 350,000 lights, with religious displays across 10 acres of the facilities 75-acre property. The displays nature is solitarily a traditional religious nature with this year’s theme “Descending Dove”. There are no children’s Christmas characters. Local artists design displays, this year a Sister of the church has designed a new one.
There will be a museum of collected nativity scenes from around the world. The special exhibit “Faces of Jesus” will be returning from last year. A Bistro and restaurant adds to the event. The gift store offers hundreds of gifts with devotional items and books.
The event has attracted other Christmas season events. Christmas concerts are scheduled with recorded music of Rev. Andre “Pat” Patenaude, known as Father Pat. Nightly trolley and hayrides are from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. A carousel is operated for kids from 5:00 to 9:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. A Christmas Bazaar was conducted on November 23-25. Special Christmas Service Masses will be held nightly throughout the holiday season.
The shrine is at 947 Park Street, open daily 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Roman Catholic missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette operate the shrine. The religious facility has a church, statuary gardens and retreat house. It is named for a town in the Swiss Alps where Mary the mother of Jesus allegedly appeared to two children in 1846.
Attleboro is a city of 43,593 population once known as “The Jewelry Capital of the World”. L.G. Balfour Company of Attleboro began manufacture of jewelry in 1913, but in recent years has moved out of the city. Yet many jewelry related manufacturing firms continue to operate in the city.
Ten Mile River runs through the center of the city. It is 10 miles west of Taunton, 10 miles east of Providence Rhode Island, 40 miles south of Boston, 164 miles northeast of New York City, and 368 miles northeast of Washington D.C.
Taunton is a city on the Taunton River with a population of 55,874, founded in 1637 by Plymouth Colony members. It is one of the oldest towns in the US. It was called Silver City being the historic center of the silver industry in the 19th century. Several companies in the city produced fine quality silver goods.
Attleboro Massachusetts is a 7 hour drive of 390 miles from Rochester NY. Directions are simple by driving I-90 east before Boston take US 95 south. After US 495 drive route 152 south to Attleboro.
If you are looking for a place to catch the Spirit of Christmas this may be the place to go.