Chepachet’s Candlelight Shopping brings more old-fashioned charm to Glocester

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GLOCESTER – The dusting of snow was crunching, Jack Frost was nipping, lights were gleaming, and a singer was serenading holiday shoppers with Silent Night, Holy Night. White bags glowing with candlelight up and down the sidewalks showed shoppers the way. 

The old-fashioned charm of Candlelight Shopping, in and around historic Chepachet Village, is back in the heart of Glocester.

Candlelight Shopping continues for two more Thursday evenings and is sponsored by Glocester Business Association, Glocester Heritage Society, and MouseWorks Website Design, which created the website candlelightshopping.com, and is encouraging visitors to patronize small businesses like The Hen House.

“People are realizing they have to support small business,” said Kathy Roberts, vice-president of the GBA. “Small business is the heartbeat of our country.”

Roberts has resided in the town for 45 years, and notes that, “last year everyone was bummed.” 

The Candlelight Shopping adventure has been a tradition in town for more than 25 years, and after the loss of 2020, people are flocking to small businesses in and around the town.

Life is, “back to normal,” according to Roberts. “Not the new normal. I don’t like that expression.”

On Thursday, Dec. 9, smiling and masked shoppers were visiting participating businesses including: The Town Trader, Beauty’s Edge Salon, Black Forest Café, Chepachet Art Gallery, Chepachet Pop-up, DePetrillo’s Pizza & Bakery, Dragonfly Apothecary , Glocester Manton Library, The Old Post Office Antiques, Sideways Down Antiques, Tavern on Main, Trish Hampton Pet Boutique, and Underground Yoga. 

Outside the Glocester Heritage Society, a Christmas caroler sang for passersby in the chilly 38 degree air. Inside the building, as well as next door at Hen House, shoppers eagerly picked out handcrafted and local Christmas gifts at these two group shops.

Down the street, shoppers stood in line awaiting their turn to enter another shop filled to capacity with people and merchandise, Brown & Hopkins Country Store – the oldest continually operating country store in America. A look in the window revealed the warm glow of a quiet moment at Lovett’s Fine Cigars and Art, where outside stands a vintage cigar store figure representing an indigenous American, seeming to observe the street scene of heavy traffic and pedestrians crossing.

Lights shone brightly at the Pavilion at Kent Field, as the entire street in the village center illuminated the night thanks to vintage-style lamps, adorned with festive wreaths created locally by TheFarmInRI.com and sponsored by the Glocester Town Council.

Santa and his team of reindeer led by bright red-nosed Rudolph added some whimsy to the festivities. The life-sized senior elf and his flying deer are temporarily parked at the field at Chepachet Village Wine & Spirits.

To learn more about the events, to continue Thursdays, Dec. 16 and 23, at http://www.glocester.org.

Last Thursday evening at The Hen House, a cheery orange building on Main Street housing a group shop, Danisha Bailey; Kim Belleavoine. co-owner; Mandy Newton; and Kimberly Lussier were busy waiting on customers of the thriving store.

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