Saugerties Holiday in the Village brings good cheer, new bikes

The Saugerties High School chorus strolls the village singing Christmas carols.

More than 3000 people packed the Village of Saugerties last Sunday for the Holiday in the Village celebration to shop, to enjoy the festive atmosphere, to take part in the annual toy giveaway run by Bob Siracusano and the Sawyer Automotive Foundation, and to watch the yearly decoration lighting of Seamon Park, as well as the Festival of Lights parade run by the Saugerties Fire Department.

There was no shortage of other fun kids’ activities.

About a thousand people jam Reis Park in the hopes of winning a bike or a toy, while Bob Siracusano calls off numbers at the Sawyer Motors’ raffle.


A bike extravaganza

Bob Siracusano, Sawyer Motors and the Sawyer Automotive Foundation gave away 300 toys, bikes, baseball gloves, balls, and tablets valued at $20,000 during Holiday in the Village.

Daughter Macy Siracusano said that the foundation actually purchased about 160 bikes. Some 131 of them were given away during the raffle. The raffle is not the only way that Saugerties and area youngsters get a bike. The foundation also donates 20 bikes to Peoples Place, and six to the Saugerties Area Council of Churches for local needy boys and girls.

McKenna Dyke and her new bike. Lisa Benjamin, manager at Diaz Ambulance, fits the seven-year-old with a new bike helmet

Additionally, the foundation at this time of year donates more than 100 winter coats to needy families, Macy said. “We get their names through the town’s school system,” she explained. “It’s our way of helping the community, and making sure that we can help as many needy families and their children have a merry Christmas.”

One of the lucky youngsters to receive a bike during the raffle was seven-year-old McKenna Dyke, who got her first new bike. “All my other bikes were hand-me-downs from my older sister, but this is my first new one,” she said with a smile.

Diaz Ambulance volunteers were on hand to give all the kids who got a new bike a new helmet.

Santa and an elf are joined by Jacqueline and David Hanzel and their not-so-happy-to-see-Santa son Donovan at the Kiersted House

Cookies and more cookies

The Hudson Valley Dessert Company let kids decorate more than 500 cookies.

Every year, the bakery invites youngsters to come in and decorate something yummy. Last year it was 500 cupcakes, which according to shop owner Constance Bailey, was not nearly enough to supply all the kids that showed up. So this year, the shop baked 600 Christmas-tree cookies, which Bailey said should be enough.

One bakery worker laughed and said, “No way.”

“It’s something we do every year as a way of giving back to the community and our customers,” Bailey said.

Store employees, their kids and volunteers come in to help make the event go smoothly, or as smoothly as it can with more than 500 kids coming into the shop over the course of the day.

Local artist Shanti Payne painted Christmas decorations on the shop’s window.

Kira McClure and Mariah Plant along with Ava the Christmas pooch provide a live window scene at Saugerties Antique Market

Santa and his helpers

Santa listened to wishes from children at the Kiersted House. Some of his helpers were located throughout the village, and people filled Ray Mayone and family’s wagon for rides around the village.

Santa in the person of Mike Harkavy, and his favorite elf, Peggy Schwartz, co-chair of the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce, staffed the Kiersted House event along with Tine VanVoorhis, who painted the faces of children.

Other Santa’s helpers were on Partition Street at the Well, and in front of the Boys and Girls Club.

Members of the Saugerties High School Key Club dressed as cartoon characters strolled around the village. The Saugerties High School chorus walked through the streets singing Christmas carols.

Models Kyra McClure and Mariah Plant, along with Ava the pooch, were part of a live window display at the Saugerties Antique Market.


Local artist Shanti Payne paints the front window at Hudson Valley Dessert Company

Here are the winners of this year’s Holiday in the Village Window Decoration Contest which took place during the event on Sunday :


First place: Saugerties Antiques Center

Second place: Emerge Gallery

Third place: Dancing Tulip


All  were all delighted with their prizes. A special thanks to the judges this year : Barbara Bravo, Michael Nelson & Bill Kimble

All photos by Robert Ford