Woodstock will hold its 31st annual Holiday Open House on Friday, December 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. All the shops and merchants do special holiday windows for that night, and the Chamber of Commerce will have a contest for best decorations. Many of the shops do raffles for gift certificates and gift baskets, too, and there’ll be live music.
“A lot of people look forward to it as a kickoff for the shopping season in Woodstock,” says Fern Suess, coordinator for the event. “This year we’ll have a jazz trio, Nancy Tierney and the Boys [Jim Curtin and Perry Beekman], who will perform in the Woodstock Artists’ Association Museum. Then Readers’ Quarry String Band will be tucked in behind the Gilded Carriage, and Pegasus will have Onteora’s Sounds of Jazz,” says Suess. “There’s also a caroling group from Phoenicia’s Festival of the Voice, who will start down at Sunflower and carol up to the Village Green.”
The Woodstock Artists’ Association also does a craft activity for kids and families each year, she says, with this year’s project being the decoration of calendars and holiday greeting cards. Frosty the Snowman will be on one side of Tinker Street at Topka, giving out treats to kids, and Mrs. Claus will be in the window at H. Houst and Sons, doing face-painting: a tradition that has been going on for some time now, says Suess.
New to the festivities this year is Dominic the Donkey, who will arrive with his mother and aunt, “because apparently he doesn’t like to be by himself,” says Suess. Dominic and company will be found on Mill Hill Road in front of one of the churches, where children can pet the donkeys (all bets are that Dominic won’t feel very alone that night).
Suess says that the Chamber of Commerce booth will be open, and will have maps to help people know where to find activities; there’ll be some signs around, too. There’s no admission fee for the Open House. “And the raffles are free,” says Suess. “Just put your name in and you may win.”
Holiday Open House, Friday, December 7, 5-9 p.m., free, Village of Woodstock; (845) 679-6234, https://woodstockchamber.com.