Freeport, Maine, has the holiday “Sparkle” Parade" and the Historic Inns of Rockland hold their January Pies on Parade event but I never heard of a Tub Parade until Ellen Gutman Chenaux, Innkeeper/Proprietor of the Birchwood Inn in Lenox, MA, cued me in. On Saturday, September 12, at 1:30 pm, more than 30 carriages (or “tubs” as English slang had it) will take to Main Street in Lenox, MA adorned by flowers and other accessories. The “Tub Parade” is one of those delightfully whimsical don’t-miss New England events; just a one-tank trip from Boston.
What exactly is a Tub Parade? What exactly is a Tub Parade? According to Bob Coakley, of the Colonial Carriage and Driving Society and the Lenox Chamber of Commerce, the Tub Parade is a beautiful display of festive carriages and horses decorated with flowers from various local landmarks. The parade is a tradition dating back to the Gilded Age of the Berkshires (late 1800’s). New England’s rich and famous owners of palatial summer “cottages” -- the likes of Westinghouse, Carnegie and Proctor -- established the friendly competition. In a form of highbrow “one-upmanship,” the wealthy summer residents would showcase their finest animals and carriages by covering them with the choicest selections from their gardens, and take them on parade.
After World War I, the Gilded era declined, and the parade ceased until the Colonial Carriage & Driving Society and the Lenox Chamber of Commerce revived the event 18 years ago. The parade goes through Lenox’s Main Street, then winds around the center of town twice. Kicking off at 1:30 PM, it generally lasts under an hour. There is no admission fee.
Why not plan a Berkshire B&B getaway around the Tub Parade, at the handsome Birchwood Inn? Dating from 1767, it is the oldest home in Lenox. To introduce travelers to the wonders of the Berkshires, the inn devised a September Special during the last two weeks of the month. Stay two midweek nights from September 14 to 30, and the third midweek night is 50 percent off. Combine the Tub Parade with a Sunday and Monday stay, and you’re treated to a Tuesday night stay for 50% off.
At Hampton Terrace B&B, one of Lenox’s original Gilded Age "cottages," room rates are discounted $75 to $120/night for multiple night stays from Sunday through Thursday throughout September and October. Stay in any room at the mansion or their Wynnstay Cottage for $175-$190 per night, or in a king suite for $225-$250 midweek through October.
Brook Farm Inn, another lovely Lenox B&B, will offer two complimentary 9-hole rounds of golf at the Donald Ross designed Greenock Country Club when you stay two nights, Sunday through Thursday.With all these great offers from Lenox B&Bs, plus the scenic beauty and cultural offerings in the Berkshires, reserve the weekend of September 12 to enjoy your Berkshire Mountains’ getaway.
For a complete list of inns and B&Bs in Lenox, click here. Remember, for all fall getaways, especially to foliage-rich locations like Lenox, MA, book now or forever hold your peep!