No one does a village-wide holiday celebration quite like Saugerties.
This year will be no different. Holiday in the Village will include a holiday market, music and toy giveaways, live mannequins, free horse carriage rides, kids’ crafts, Santa at the Kiersted House, a petting zoo, entertainment and surprises followed by the tree and menorah lighting and the Fire Department Parade of Lights to Seamon Park, where “The Night Before Christmas” will be read. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m., with activities throughout the village business district.
Good economy, bad economy, “it really doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to the generosity of Saugerties’ residents and businesses,” said Bob Siracusano, who chairs the Sawyer Motors toy raffles.
“This is the best year we’ve had,” Siracusano said. “People realize in a tough economy that children throughout the village might not have a merry Christmas without this toy raffle. So they give a little more.”
As an example, the owner of the popular automotive dealership pointed to the 100 bicycles that will be given away this year. “We usually give out 50 to 60 bikes but this year we raised $15,000 and were able to purchase 100 bikes,” he said. In past years, about $12,000 worth of toys and sporting equipment has been given out.
Ray Tucker, Sawyer Motors sales manager, said more than 250 gifts will be given out to kids during the raffles.
He said Walmart deserves some of the credit, as “their Community Needs Program donates $1,000 to the purchase of the bikes.”
All donations went into the Sawyer Automotive Foundation, which was created last year to oversee the toy purchases and provide community assistance throughout the year. The foundation works closely with the Saugerties Area Council of Churches to help out local families, Siracusano said.
Mark Smith, president of the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce, said Siracusano, Sawyer Motors employees and volunteers do a wonderful job each year in making the Holiday in the Village a hit with parents and their children.
The first of three toy raffles will be held at 1 p.m. at Reis parking lot at the corner of Main and Market streets, the second will be held at 2:30 p.m., and the third at 4 p.m.
Around the village
Here’s a list of events and things to see, provided by the Chamber.
Noon- DJ playing holiday music in Reis parking lot.
All afternoon- Village businesses will have their windows decorated, giving out goodies, offering discounts and sales.
All afternoon- Life-size characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Tigger, Elmo, Mario and Luigi will be roaming around.
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.- Kiersted House on Main St. opposite Cahill Elementary. Santa inside and a petting zoo on the front lawn.
All afternoon- Library Festival of Trees display, Washington Ave.
All afternoon- Music, refreshments and kids’ crafts throughout the village and a Holiday Market at ‘Cue on Partition St.
1 p.m. Ice sculpture at ‘Cue.
1–5 p.m. A craft fair and free face painting will be held at the Boys and Girls Club on Partition St.
All afternoon- Ray and Carol Ann Mayone will offer free horse-drawn wagon rides at the village firehouse on Partition St.
3:30 p.m.- The Boys and Girls Club musical group The Royals will perform at ‘Cue.
5 p.m.- The village Christmas tree and menorah will be lit, signaling the start of the annual Fire Truck Parade of Lights. Dozens of fire trucks will be hung with Christmas lights. The parade will proceed to Seamon Park where the park’s lights will be turned on and “The Night Before Christmas” will be read. There will be free shuttle bus rides up to the park from the M&T Parking lot on Main St.