SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The holiday season is upon us, and the downtown neighborhood of Spa City is kicking it off with a weekend-long Victorian tradition.
In an effort to keep the holiday tradition of the 35th Annual Victorian Streetwalk alive, the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association will expand the annual one-night event into a weekend celebration from Thursday, December 2 through Sunday, December 5.
The Victorian Walk weekend is set to begin with the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, when Santa Claus, atop a fire truck, will light the downtown holiday tree 27 feet, with Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly. The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook @downtownsaratogasprings for anyone wishing to watch from afar.
The festivities will continue from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. All three dates will feature entertainment and traveling performers throughout downtown Saratoga Springs including Jacksland, Sonny Daye, BH-BL A Cappella Carolers, Stephen Crouth, Kyle Loucks, Tim Wechgelaer, Shenendehowa Treble Choir, St. Paul’s Carolers , Sparkles the Juggler, Victor the Balloon Artist, John Terleckey, Racing City Chorus, Er Go Blu, John and Orion Kribs, Pokingbrook Morris, Saratoga City Ballet, Acadia Rae Hoola Hooper and Dance Factory. The Salvation Army will also be on hand throughout the weekend to deliver hot chocolate from the Spa City Motor Lodge parking lot.
On Sundays, shoppers are encouraged to bring their downtown-purchased holiday gifts to the Arcade building at 376 Broadway from noon to 4 p.m., when Charlton School volunteers will be there to wrap the gifts.
New to this year’s Victorian Streetwalk event is a scavenger hunt! A total of 15 downtown storefronts will feature resin plaques created by Charlton School students. Participants who successfully complete the hunt will be entered to win a prize package worth over $200.
The Victorian Streetwalk Scavenger Hunt sheet will be available to download from Thursday morning at www.saratogaspringsdowntown.com. Completed sheets must be returned to Caroline + Main at 438 Broadway by 5 p.m. Sunday to be entered to win.
While Santa won’t be in his cabin this year, his traditional downtown home will once again be sitting on Broadway next to the Christmas tree. Children are invited to bring their letters to Santa Claus and deposit them in the Santa Claus mailbox on the front of the chalet. As an alternative to in-person visits with Santa Claus, the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association brings Santa Claus to children in Saratoga Springs. On six dates before Christmas, children are invited to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he cruises through local neighborhoods atop a ladder fire truck provided by King Enterprises. Dates, as well as the neighborhoods Santa will visit, are available at saratogaspringsdowntown.com. All neighborhood Santa rides will also be streamed live on Facebook @downtownsaratogasprings.
“The DBA invites everyone downtown for this year’s Victorian Street Walk weekend,” association president Deann Devitt said ahead of the event. “We have some of the traditional entertainment as well as new highlights! We are also very excited to be partnering with King Enterprises again this year, to bring Santa to our neighborhoods for all to take a peek. !
Devitt continued, “So much has changed in 35 years, but one thing remains the same. And that thing is that our city is so special and so full of unique retailers and restaurants. Come downtown and enjoy all that Saratoga has to offer.
More information, including a full schedule of Victorian Streetwalk Weekend events, can be found online at www.saratogaspringsdowntown.com.