About | Festival History
In 1999, several civic-minded Medford women took the lead from other local communities by forming a committee to organize Medford's very own holiday ho-use tour to raise money for local charities. Committee members believed the city's rich history, gorgeous architecture and giving spirit would ensure the event's success. And since "Jingle Bells" was written right here in Medford, the committee thought of a most appropriate name for the community fundraising event-the Medford Jingle Bell Festival!
The house tour became part of a series of Medford holiday events, including the lighting of the tree at City Hall Plaza in Medford Square. Over the years, other events have been added to the venue. Holiday trees are now displayed at Medford City Hall for the entire five-day festival period. In 2004, the festival included a group carol sing, where thousands of people gathered in Medford Square to sing carols-an effort which got Medford in the Guinness Book of World Records! In 2008, Medford's Rising Star was added to the Festival's list of events, and in 2010, Medford's Top Dogs was added for the canine lovers of the community.
Gracious hosts have welcomed participants into some of Medford's finest homes. In addition, the tour route has included stops at several historic properties, including the Goddard Chapel at Tufts University and the Craddock (Peter Tufts) House on Riverside Ave.
What started as an idea has now become an annual Medford tradition. Furthermore, the success of this event is clearly evidenced by the thousands of dollars the festival has raised since 1999 for two local charities.