There are a lot of reasons to love Newburyport. I’m sure if you asked our president Matt Bowen why he chose to make it the home of Aloft Group’s corporate offices some 16 years ago, he’d talk about its close proximity to Boston’s Logan Airport, which makes business travel a relative snap. Or how our offices are just a stone’s throw from the train station, providing easy access to and from Boston. Or the obvious appeal of, and summertime activities associated with, its beautiful waterfront location and bustling harbor.
It’s true that Newburyport is alive and vibrant during the summer, with tourists lining the streets and shoreline, boats of all shapes and sizes navigating the waters and an endless array of restaurants, taverns and inns to experience. In fact, I’m sure many of the reasons Matt would give for choosing to locate his company here are the same reasons he chose to make Newburyport his home way back when.
I also love all these things about our town, yet for me it’s during the holidays that it shines the brightest. I remember the first time I experienced Christmas in Newburyport. My wife was singing with a choral group in a holiday concert eight or ten years ago, and they decided it would be fun to go caroling downtown. I tagged along in silence (I’m not much of a singer), marveling at the scene that spread out before me.
It truly felt as if I’d been transported back in time into one of Charles Dickens’ stories. The giant Christmas tree at the northern end of State Street set the stage, illuminating the square and the faces of the families who gathered around it. The lighted decorations in the downtown shop windows joined with the lampposts lining the streets to cast a wonderful glow on the brick sidewalks where we strolled, bundled up against the night’s chill. I’m sure the carols sung by our group added to the feeling, but there was a palpable sense of yuletide spirit in the air as families shopped for the holidays the way they had in the past, happy to be outside in the crisp night air as they visited one quaint shop after another rather than fighting their way through some overcrowded mall somewhere.
At some point I realized I was actually singing along as our group made its way down some of the side streets that crisscross through town, overcome, I think, by the spirit of the evening. At the risk of being corny, it was a magical night. One that I’ve never forgotten, and one that keeps me going downtown every year during the holidays to witness some of that same Newburyport Christmas spirit. If you’ve never had the chance and you’re in the area, I strongly suggest you make it a point to check it out for yourself.
Better yet, come visit Aloft Group’s 26 Parker Street offices and we’ll personally take you downtown for a guided holiday tour.
Topics: Agency Life