Townsfolk are beginning to wonder how Santa is going to arrive this year, but nobody is giving any hints. The only thing that’s certain is jolly ol’ Saint Nick will arrive at 5:30 p.m.…ish.
“We can’t block off the road until the bus comes,” said Woodstock Christmas Eve Committee Secretary Lynn Sehwerert. Once the 5 p.m. Trailways coach to New York City passes through, police block off Tinker Street and the grand entrance begins. But, Sehwerert suggests folks start gathering at 4:15 p.m. to get a good vantage point. That’s around when the carolers begin on the Village Green. Just how Santa will arrive is a closely guarded secret with only one or two committee members knowing the details.
This year, everything should go off without a hitch and even the weather will offer a nice break. Forecasters are predicting the temperature to be near 70 degrees when Santa arrives.
Many wonder who will be the musical act heralding Santa’s arrival, Sehwerert is leaving that a surprise. In past years, local favorites including Lindsey Webster and Rennie Cantine have performed in the arrival parade.
Following the parade, Santa sets up at the green, handing out stockings full of goodies. But, please don’t push or get rowdy. Santa and his elves will keep track of who makes a ruckus and you don’t want to get on his naughty list.
Then Santa is off to the next town. The Dutch Reformed Church needs the area cleared out in time for their 7 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass, Sehwerert said. Besides, he’s got a lot of work to do.
Those who are ill or homebound aren’t left out of the holiday. The Christmas Eve Committee and its volunteers deliver cheer baskets with a Christmas card, candy, fruit and chocolates.
Some folks who cannot afford Christmas dinner will get food baskets containing a meal and all the fixings.
But all the coordination to get Santa in and out in an hour, plus all the stockings, baskets and dinners wouldn’t be possible without all the volunteers and generous contributions. The parade floats and vehicle used to transport Santa to the green are designed and build by volunteers.
The whole event costs $10,000 to $12,000 each year and is funded completely through donations, Sehwerert said.
Tax-deductible contributions are always welcome and can be made to the Christmas Eve Committee, care of Bank of America, 81 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498.