By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
On any regular night, the historic Medfield State Hospital property is usually completely dark. This weekend, it could not have been any more lively as people in a line of cars a mile from the entrance waited patiently to see the Winter Lights, a ticketed event hosted by Medfield TV and the Cultural Alliance of Medfield. For three evenings, from Friday, December 18, until Sunday, December 20, attendees were treated to a spectacular lights display. The event was delayed for one day due to the snowstorm on the 17th; that only seemed to make people more eager to see how the beloved Medfield spot had been transformed into a winter wonderland.
After having their tickets scanned, attendees tuned into a special radio station made for the event and made their way to the festive lights. Once directed to the first display, guests were met with the sight of multicolored lights wrapped around some of the trees, guiding the way.
Those who know the state hospital property were pleasantly surprised to see many of the buildings illuminated with decorative lights. Each one of these displays was themed and created by local organizations, each one with great care and attention to detail.
The Girl Scouts of Medfield transformed the porch of one building into a colorful masterpiece, with lights spiraling around support columns, lining the stairs. Large round ornaments hanging from the ceiling shined with the lights. The centerpiece was a Christmas tree with dozens of wrapped boxes sitting below it. The Boy Scouts set up a cozy campsite, a perfect place to view the starry winter night.
Another display decorated a building as if it were a Whoville property from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," with an accompanying Grinch cutout. A few feet away, a Buddy the Elf cutout greeted people as they drove past him; surely a number of people called out the famous line: “Bye Buddy, Hope you find your dad!” as they drove by. A local dance studio decorated its spot with inflatable nutcrackers and ballerinas to honor the holiday tradition. Medfield Environment Action (MEA), meanwhile, put up a sign reminding people to “Have a green holiday & a greener 2021.” The final display consisted of a live nativity, including an angel sitting atop the manger, directing people to the exit.
From their cars, viewers were able to enjoy what will hopefully become an annual Medfield tradition. While next year might bring less of a need for masks and social distancing, this was a perfect way for families to enjoy the festive season in comfort, without having to dress for the cold weather.
No one knows what good things 2021 will bring, but attendees are hoping that the Winter Lights will be among them.