Huge toy raffle at Saugerties’ Holiday in the Village

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Community generosity exemplifies the tone of Saugerties’ annual Holiday in the Village celebration, when the town’s Chamber of Commerce combines forces with the citizenry and more than 30 local businesses to bring joy to one and all. From noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, village streets will be filled with activities, treats and music – and lots of lights to brighten spirits. Visitors can expect to enjoy free horse and wagon rides, Santa Claus holding forth at the Kiersted House, kids’ crafts and activities at the Library, face-painting, ice sculpture and a petting zoo.

Cartoon characters in full costume and carolers can be seen along the sidewalks. The festive air will be filled with holiday music as village shops entice folks in with decorated windows, free goodies and holiday discounts and sales. At dusk, the village Christmas tree- and menorah-lighting will kick off the traditional Firetruck Parade of Lights, with dozens of firetrucks heading to Seamon Park for the reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (a/k/a “The Night before Christmas”). Look for free shuttle-bus rides up to the park from the M & T Parking lot on Main Street.

The most anticipated highlight – the one that lies at the heart of the entire extravaganza – is the annual toy raffle that takes place intermittently through the afternoon. Last year, nearly $18,000 were raised through local clubs and businesses for the purchase of toys for the raffle, including well over 100 bicycles. Sponsored by Sawyer Motors, Sawyer Chevrolet, Ward Backhaus Collision and the Sawyer Savings Bank (with generous contributions from lots of others), the toy giveaway leaves no kid ungifted.

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Co-coordinator Mark Smith says of this year’s take, “We have an unbelievable amount of toys to be raffled off. Since I’ve been involved these past few years, I’ve noticed that the event keeps getting bigger and better every year.” Children between the ages of 1 to 12 will be eligible to enter for a chance to win a coveted bike and over 250 other prizes. “And the Holiday Market is going to be better, because we’re now in the space on the patio at ‘Cue on Partition Street.” The heated outdoor marketplace will feature items of a gift-giving nature, such as jewelry, pottery, homemade jams and lots more. Shoppers take note: The Holiday Market closes at 5 p.m.

Holiday in the Village, Sunday, December 3, noon-6 p.m., Main/Partition/Market Streets, Saugerties; msmith2@hvc.rr.com, hotrodbob929@aol.com, http://discoversaugerties.com.

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