By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – The Eagle Tavern is empty, throngs are smaller and historic homes are best viewed through pane-glass windows, but yuletide spirit still shines bright during Holiday Nights at The Henry Ford.
With restaurants closed throughout the state, the Taste of History is offering carryout only, with outdoor seating, and market stalls throughout Greenfield Village offer tempting treats, from hot and cold beverages, to filling food like roast beef or ham sandwiches and a “stew of the season.”
Live music, performed throughout the village, is a welcome treat, given the pandemic drought, and carolers sing at the town hall, a brass band plays in the shadow of the Sir John Bennett clock shop and the gazebo is aglow with the sound and sight of instrumentalists. If you want to rest your feet, file into a pew in the Martha-Mary Chapel and listen to live organ music played from the loft.
The covered bridge is festooned inside with red and green lights, and is much friendlier without its menacing Halloween shadows.
Horse-drawn wagons briskly trot throughout the village, making the nighttime landscape resemble a scene from Currier and Ives.
As the holiday scenes unfold, a familiar red sleigh appears, and a friendly, bearded fellow dressed in red greets good children from the second story balcony of the Robert Frost Home, offering greetings and a warm welcome in the chilly air, as well as a familiar “ho, ho, ho.”
The mummers are quieter this year, as they maintain a civil social distance, but the costumes are still festive and bright as they create a visible presence on main street.
While the village is quieter this year, and fewer families wander its lanes, it non-the-less provides a welcome journey into the holidays of yesteryear, from a simpler time, providing visitors with continuity and a family tradition which, though modified for the pandemic, still allows one to stroll down its lanes making memories.