Holiday on Huguenot Street returns this weekend

Soup on the stoop at last year’s Holiday on Huguenot Street. Denise Kennedy-Shane, Samantha Shane and Laura Kniffen. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

It’s time once again for “A Holiday on Huguenot Street,” the annual pre-Christmas extravaganza jointly presented by Historic Huguenot Street and the Reformed Church of New Paltz. A Holiday on Huguenot Street will feature live music, special holiday-themed stone-house tours, a tree-lighting ceremony, a paper lantern parade, a visit from Santa, a crafts fair, horsedrawn wagon rides and more family-friendly fun. It all happens this Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1.

This year’s holiday tour of Huguenot Street’s historic homes will explore seasonal and holiday traditions practiced by different cultures in New Paltz over the centuries. On the hour at 5, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday evening, and again on Saturday at 10 and 11 a.m., 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m., the 45-minute tours will begin at the replica Esopus Munsee wigwam (on the grounds of the DuBois Fort), where an interpreter will share traditional Munsee stories and New-Year customs. Next, visitors will watch a vignette in the Abraham Hasbrouck House featuring two actors portraying Hasbrouck children as they delve into French Huguenot and Dutch traditions of the eighteenth century. Finally, tour-takers will become special guests of the Deyo House during an in-the-moment tour with Gertrude Deyo Brodhead, a wealthy Victorian socialite who will share her lavish Christmas plans in her meticulously decorated home.

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From 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Wullschleger Education Building will host the Reformed Church’s annual crafts fair, featuring greenery and other seasonal household décor, knitwear and other handmade delights. The Misty Mountain Girl Scout Troop’s annual cookie walk gets under way at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center at 81 Huguenot Street at 5 p.m. on Friday and continues until 8 p.m., returning from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Proceeds support Local at Heart, while the scouts work toward their community service and cooking badges.

At 6 p.m. on Friday evening, Soup on the Stoop will be served for free on the steps of the Reformed Church at 92 Huguenot Street. At 7 p.m. a paper-lantern-light parade will proceed from the church to the Deyo House lawn at 74 Huguenot Street for New Paltz’s community tree-lighting, while Historic Huguenot Street’s own a cappella choir, the Huguenot Heralds, performs festive holiday carols. Luminaries will line the street; paper lanterns may be preordered online at www.huguenotstreet.org/shop and can be purchased that evening at the Craig House at 18 Broadhead Avenue.

Following the tree-lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus will hold court on the Deyo House porch for free photo ops. At 8 p.m., the action will return to the Reformed Church’s sanctuary for a free holiday concert with local musical group Wind and Stone.  

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Wullschleger Education Building, children can participate in a build-a-bear workshop. Visitors will be able to meet and pet local farm animals and learn about these creatures from local 4-H members. The Reformed Church’s Social Hall at 92 Huguenot Street will open its Christmas café from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Immediately afterward, the church’s sanctuary will host a free holiday jazz and pop concert featuring the Big Blue Big Band.

Also on Saturday, at 15-minute intervals from noon to 3 p.m., horsedrawn wagon rides will depart from the DuBois Fort Visitor Center. Tickets cost $5 per person aged 4 and up. For more information or to preregister for Huguenot Street Holiday Tours, visit www.huguenotstreet.org/holiday.

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