Christmas in St. Michaels

Annual event celebrates the arrival of the holiday season

A sparkling holiday tree lights up St. Michaels. On Dec. 9, Christmas in St. Michaels will host a tree lighting ceremony at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond, at 308 Watkins Lane. |Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels
Festively decorated retail shops on Talbot Street in St. Michaels offer holiday gifts and decor. | Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels

Tour historic homes, explore Santa’s Wonderland, and shop for unique gifts during “Christmas in St. Michaels,” held Dec. 8-10, in Talbot County.

Joy of giving

For more than a quarter of a century, residents of the town of St. Michaels have organized this festive weekend-long event to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season.

“St. Michaels is a lovely, quaint, historic town,” said Michelle O’Connor, the chair for this year’s Christmas in St. Michaels event. It’s a great day trip from Washington D.C. and Baltimore.”

Proceeds from ticketed events and collectors ornaments have raised more than $1 million to benefit local, nonprofit organizations in the community.

“You can’t turn around in this town without meeting somebody who does something in a volunteer capacity for Christmas in St. Michaels, O’Connor said. “It’s absolutely a town-wide thing.”

Weekend events

One of the highlights of the weekend is the “Gingerbread House Competition and Display,”held at the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels on St. Mary’s Square Street, Dec.8-10. Visitors can view creative displays and a train garden, free of charge.

The “Gingerbread House Competition and Display,” features festive gingerbread homes available for sale. |Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels


“Many of the creations are available for sale to take home and to share with family and friends,” states the Christmas in St. Michaels website.

On Dec. 9, at 10:30 a.m., the Talbot Street Parade will feature marching bands, fire engines, antique cars, boats, animals and more.

“We have 54 participants this year,” O’Connor said. It’s a lot of fun.”

Children will also delight in “Santa’s Wonderland,” which features a store where children, ages 3 to 11, can choose gifts for their family members. This event includes games, face painting, prizes and more. Admission is $2 at the door.

St. Michaels native Harold Baines, a former Major League Baseball designated hitter and right fielder, will visit with children during this event.

A man dressed in period attire rides penny farthing bicycle in the Talbot Street Parade. This year the parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 10:30 a.m. |Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels

Also on Dec. 9, a tree lighting ceremony, with live entertainment, refreshments and a special appearance by Santa Claus will be held 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond, at 308 Watkins Lane.

Tour of Homes

Another big draw is the “Tour of Homes,” featuring historic homes decorated festively for the holidays.

“Most of the homes, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, had at one time been the residences of watermen and seafarers. Many of these homes have since been restored, expanded, and adapted to today’s life style,” states the Christmas in St. Michaels website.

Tickets for the tour are $25 online through Dec. 8, until noon, and $30 during the weekend. Tickets include transportation to the countryside homes, a detailed tour guide booklet and admission to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Saturday and Sunday.

Marketplace and Sweet Shoppe

Visitors can find unique gifts at the “Marketplace and Sweet Shoppe,” held at the Granite Lodge, located on 403 Saint Mary’s Square Street. This market offers hundreds of homemade gifts for sale including hand painted jewelry, hand-etched wine glasses, holiday decorations, and variety of jams, jellies, condiments and frozen appetizers.

Also for sale is a cookbook, “A Few of Our Favorite Things,” featuring more than 350 recipes, many submitted by local restaurants and inns. The Marketplace and Sweet Shoppe is open on Friday, Dec. 8 from noon to 3 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; and Sunday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The “Marketplace and Sweet Shoppe,” features hundreds of unique, handmade gifts. | Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels

Christmas in St. Michaels concludes with a “Celebration of Choirs,” at 6 p.m. at St. Michaels High School Auditorium. This free concert includes traditional carols and seasonal music performed by choirs of several local churches.

For more information about all Christmas in St. Michaels events visit, or call 410-745-0745, or email


By Rachel Ponder, APG News