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Your Must-Do List for the holiday season

November is here and the holidays are JUST around the corner; and if you were wondering what’s going on around the Island, we’re here to tell you. Cape May does not shut down like other shore towns. There’s plenty do and plenty to see, and here are a few events which are at the top of our must-do list.

Photo appears courtesy of MAC

Sherlock Holmes Weekend

Friday, Nov. 4 to Sunday, Nov. 6

Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, and his partner Dr. Watson return to Cape May to unravel a baffling new case for 2011, The Case of the Surreptitious Ghoul!

Join the famous detective and his partner as they explore the Gothic Habitants of Underground London Society, or G.H.O.U.L.S., for short. Psychics, mystics, mediums and a murderer inhabit this bleak world. The duo will need your help as they peer deep into the darkness and face the fears that lie within. As the Raven states, “Nevermore,” will Holmes reply, “The game’s afoot?” Join Holmes and Watson for another “edge of the seat” thriller.

It is clear that “The Game’s Afoot” on Friday, at 8:30 p.m. Join Holmes and Watson Watson for Act I, an evening reception at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St.
It is here that the crime is committed and your exciting weekend begins. A cash bar will be available. Registration begins at 7 p.m. and doors open for seating at 8 p.m.

Full weekend packages are available at $180 per couple or $95 per person. Full Weekend Packages include the welcome reception, tour, performances and lunch. Please call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, ext. 162 for more information or to reserve your overnight package or visit www.capemaymac.org.

If you prefer a more detached Holmes experience, The East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC) presents an optional activity this weekend, Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Norwood Builder. On Friday and Saturday, step back in time, as ELTC presents this tale in the style of a vintage radio broadcast, complete with live sound effects and commercials, just like the Sherlock Holmes radio series on NBC that premiered on Oct. 20, 1930. To save an innocent man from prison, Holmes and Watson must find the thief who stole a valuable gem. The production is adapted from the work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Craig Wichman, the founder and producer of the nationally acclaimed Quicksilver Radio Theater. Productions take place at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Decatur and Hughes streets. General admission is $25, full-time students are $15, ages 18 and under admitted free.

Candlelight Walk at Historic Cold Spring Village

Friday, Nov. 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Follow luminaries throughout Historic Cold Spring Village, 729 Rt. 9 South, and visit a selection of historic buildings where wine, beer, cheese and lite fare will be served. Enjoy special holiday discounts at the Country Store, plus fireside desserts and music in the Pavilion. Advance ticket sales only, $25. Please call (609) 898-2300, ext. 10.

Holiday Preview Weekend

Friday Nov. 18 to Sunday Nov. 20

The first of Cape May’s three Christmas tree lightings takes place at the Physick Estate on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

Get a head start on the Holiday season! Santa and his elves have decked out the Physick Estate with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings. Enjoy a wide variety of holiday tours and food and wine events to get you into the Christmas spirit. The Physick Estate becomes a Christmas wonderland during the holiday season. The Carriage House Gallery exhibit, An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years, captures the feeling of Christmas past with a Dickens Village collection, model trains, trees, toys and much more (through January 1, 2012). Visit the Estate on Saturday, November 19 at 7 p.m. as Santa arrives to flip the switch for the festive Tree-Lighting Ceremony (sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank). That evening the Physick House will be open for free, self-guided tours. Visitors are encouraged to share in the holiday spirit and bring a non-perishable food item for the Cape May Community Food Bank. For kids, there are Santa’s Trolley Rides and a chance to visit with old St. Nick himself. Grown-ups will enjoy holiday ghost tales during Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides.

City of Cape May’s Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

Join city officials at the Rotary Park Gazebo/Bandstand, Lyle Lane, behind the Washington Street Mall, for the official Cape May tree lighting. Santa will be on hand to make sure kids stay off the naughty list. Carolers will lead everyone in Christmas carols and you will see what a special time it is for both locals and visitors.

Congress Hall’s Christmas Tree Lighting and Ceremony

Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

We sure like Christmas here in this little town. After the city lights up their tree, stroll over to Congress Hall and you’ll get another treat – this tree lighting comes complete with a presentation from the Congress Hall Choir. Visit the Congress Hall Shopping village and the Hot Chocolate Bar while you’re there.

West Cape May Christmas Parade

Saturday, Dec. 3 beginning at 5 p.m.

Always the first Saturday in December, The West Cape May Community Christmas Parade sets the stage for the areas holiday season. Now in her 46th year, the parade steps off at 5 p.m. sharp from the WCM Volunteer Firehouse and marches South on Broadway, winds East on Perry, and onto Carpenters Lane in the City of Cape May. Under the able leadership of Parade Lady Charlotte Daily, a small army of volunteers assembles an unforgettable hometown memory each year! The Parade reschedules to 12/4/11 in the case of inclement weather.

Candlelight Hospitality Nights on the Washington Street Mall

Thursday, Dec. 8 & 9 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Merchants open their doors to welcome shoppers, visitors and friends. If you have been a good girl or boy, you might even get offered a treat and some spirits along the way. And be sure to join in with the Towne Crier Carolers who will be strolling the three-block avenue of the Washington Street Mall singing Christmas carols and wishing you Christmas cheer.