Wassail on Video through the Years:

 

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The annual parade of horses and riders in Woodstock’s annual Wassail parade attracts hundreds of people. The event is always held on the first weekend in December.

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Voted one of Vermont’s Top Ten Winter events, the term has its roots in medieval England referring to the Norse, “ves heill” meaning “to drink to the health”. Ale brewed with spiced apples and sugar was the warm drink given to the singers who went door to door during the Solstice. Christmas became interwoven with celebrations during the darkest time of the year.

For the past twenty-six years, Wassail Weekend in Woodstock has welcomed people from near and far to celebrate in unique ways. Journalists have highlighted this special event finding it a unique way to enjoy Vermont during a special time of year

The participation of the association’s riders in the parade is essential. But, besides the horses, there are other colorful events such as the singing of carols around a big bonfire on the Green. You can tour the Woodstock Historical Society, see how Christmas was celebrated during the late 19th century at Billings Farm.

As well, enjoy homemade soups and chilli on the Green. Always a festive conclusion to Wassail Weekend, Woodstock’s ever-popular Messiah Sing is held on Sunday, at Our Lady of the Snows Church on South Street (Rte.106), just off the Village Green. The annual “sing-a-long” of Handel’s great oratorio features professional soloists and musicians, and a chorus made up of audience members.

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Here's a second Wassail movie, taken about five years ago. As you can see, sometimes there is snow in Woodstock in December, and somestimes there isn't. Some years the pavement is icy and the horses don't come out.

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