Holiday in the Village

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Youngsters could be forgiven if they were a bit confused by the abundance of Santa Clauses at this year’s Holiday in the Village celebrations. There were Santas in the banks, at the coffee roasters, on the street, in the shops, at the Kiersted House and as part of the Festival of Lights parade.

Would such a preponderance of Santas lead some children to question their faith?

One mother had an answer. She was overheard explaining to her child the following: None of the Santas in the village was the real one, because the real one was too busy making toys with his elves and getting ready for Christmas. The Santas in Saugerties were really friends of Santa who were there to take the wishes of the children and bring them back to the jolly old elf himself so that he would be able to write them on his list for Christmas deliveries.


The youngster seem satisfied with his mother’s explanation and proceeded to climb up on the lap of one of the more than half dozen fat men in red to submit his wish for a Christmas toy this year, something Santas have been hearing from many generations of Saugerties tykes: a new bike.

Over 1,000 people turned out for this year’s Holiday in the Village celebration, held Dec. 7, which was fortunately a clear and sunny day. (The same could not be said for events scheduled for the previous day, like the rain-drenched Sinterklaas event in Rhinebeck.) And while the biggest draw was the giant toy giveaway by Sawyer Motors, there was time enough for attendees to visit the Kiersted House, the library Festival of Trees, admire shop windows, take part in various activities set up at local businesses and take a horse-drawn wagon ride provided by Carol and Ray Mayone (750 took rides this year, according to Ray).

Village Historian Marge Block raved about the number of people who visited the historic home on Main St. Block said this year’s visitors far surpassed the number of people that had visited the home in the past. “It was amazing,” she said.

Saugerties shops were bustling with visitors, doing some holiday shopping but mostly there to enjoy all the activities that were going on — from face-painting to craft-making, to listening to tunes by the Saugerties Community Band’s brass section.

Assisting visitors throughout the village were students from the Saugerties High School Key Club, most dressed as elves, who handed out candy at Lucky Chocolates, painted faces at the Boys and Girls Club, and helped load the horse-drawn wagons.

The whole day was topped off by the brilliantly lit fire trucks and their loud sirens making their way through the village for the Parade of Lights, which ended at Seamon Park for the lighting of the decorations and the reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”