Huge toy giveaway

The big donors: Larry Siracusano, Ward Backhaus and Bob Siracusano (photo by Dion Ogust)

Why has the annual Holiday in the Village celebration become so popular? It has high school students dressed up like mannequins posed in village shop windows. There’s the fire department’s parade of lights, and carriage rides through the village. Then there’s an event like no other: a giveaway raffle featuring over $8,000 worth of toys, thanks mainly to three car salesmen: Bob and Larry Siracusano of Sawyer Motors and Sawyer Chevy, and Ward Backhaus of Backhaus Used Cars. (Several other merchants also donated.)

It all happens Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.

Grand prizes include five 19-inch televisions and a number of Wiis. Other prizes include 50 bicycles, skateboards, snowboards, and a host of other great toys.


“We expanded it this year to attract more people to the village,” Siracusano said.

The annual event is planned and run by the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, village merchants, Siracusano and his team from Sawyer Motors, and village trustees.

“This is what Saugerties is all about,” said Mayor William Murphy. “We’re about families and our shops. This is such a neat village, the unity of the businesses and community coming together.”

“This is the coolest event of the year,” Murphy added.

Merchant Ashley Meghan Drewes, whose shop Sugartown Vintage Boutique recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and who, through her Facebook page, has been one of the village’s biggest supporters, said she loves all the events in the village because “it’s a family event, and draws attention to the shop.”

“The live mannequins are also terrific,” she added. She’s looking forward to dressing some in her unique vintage clothing.

In addition to acknowledging all the work done by Michael and Nancy Campbell of the chamber, the Kiwanis Club, merchants, Sawyer Motors, and Backhaus, the mayor also thanked the Ulster County Sheriff’s office for bringing prisoners to Seamon Park to put up the lights.

The Sunday, Dec. 4 event kicks off at 1 p.m. and runs until the last shop closes. There will be four drawings during the day at Reis parking lot for the toy giveaway, which is where youngsters and their families should go to pick up their free raffle ticket. Santa will be at the Kiersted House, there will be free craft stations at various shops, Ray Mayone will provide free horse-drawn carriage rides, the St. Mary’s Choir will be performing, and the dancers from the World of Dance Studio will also be performing.

Karl Lezette will provide free bus service to take folks from Partition Street to Seamon Park for the lighting ceremony and them bring them back to the village.