Miracle on Main Street: Phoenicia celebrates the holiday season

Wil Anderson and Austin Lightning Carothers rehearse a classic comedy bit for Blue Christmas. (Courtesy of Phoenicia Playhouse)

Phoenicia’s “Miracle on Main Street” holiday events are true community affairs, with the library, the fire department, and local businesses collaborating to present spectacular gatherings on Saturday, December 8. The Phoenicia Playhouse will add to the holiday spirit with a 1950s variety show, Blue Christmas, opening Friday, December 7, and running for three weekends.

The December 8 festivities kick off with the Phoenicia Library holiday open house, from noon to 2 p.m., with cupcakes and a family concert by Uncle Rock. At 5 p.m. is the tree-lighting ceremony, with Santa and live music in front of the Ice Cream Station. The party begins at 6 p.m. at Parish Hall, complete with crafts, face painting, photos with Santa, free refreshments, and more.


The many details of the tree-lighting and party have been organized by Heather Craig of the gift shop Mélange and Samantha Awand-Gortel of Ulster Savings Bank. At the tree-lighting, hot cocoa will be provided by the Robin Kirk of the Nest Egg. Carol singing and violin music will entertain the crowd while waiting for Santa to arrive on a fire truck. As a fundraiser for the fire department, adults may buy raffle tickets for kids aged 12 and under, at $2 apiece, with the winning ticket holder invited to help Santa light the Christmas tree in front of the Ice Cream Station. The Phoenicia Business Association is providing 3-D glasses that convert the tree lights into sparkly snowmen, Santas, and the like. Artist Jenna Byer is creating a tree topper ornament and making paper lanterns for kids to carry on the walk to the Parish Hall.

Mélange’s designer and seamstress extraordinaire, Kim Houska, is transforming the Parish Hall into a white winter wonderland. Byer and her husband are stringing the lights. The Phoenicia Library will sponsor a crafts table for kids to make pine-cone bird feeders, and Gillian Jule will offer face-painting. The kids get to decorate cupcakes provided by Craig’s Custom Creations. Food and drink will be donated by Tremper Hill Farms, Migliorelli’s, Brio’s, and Phoenicia Diner. Additional sponsorship comes from Mount Tremper Arts, Phoenicia Local, and the Emerson Inn.

Blue Christmas at Phoenicia Playhouse
From December 7 through 23, Phoenicia Playhouse presents Blue Christmas, set in 1957, the year it was announced Elvis Presley would be drafted. The reactions of Presley’s fans are incorporated into a live televised variety show, complete with classic comedy routines, popular Christmas music, and real TV commercials of the era. Amy Scheibe directs a cast that includes Wil Anderson, Austin Lightning Carothers, Caitlin Conolly, Ethan Cunha, Angela Galindo, Brian Flynn (the former Congressional candidate and the husband of the show’s director), Hedda Flynn (their daughter), David Smilow, Geneva Turner, and Elaine Young.

Shandaken Holidays

All the events noted below are free, except for the listing, Blue Christmas, the variety show at the Phoenicia Playhouse.

• Saturday, December 8, noon-2 p.m. Phoenicia Library Holiday Open House with cupcakes and music. Uncle Rock performs kids’ songs at noon. 48 Main Street.

• Saturday, December 8, 5 p.m. “Miracle on Main Street,” (see article for details), starting with caroling and tree-lighting in front of the Ice Cream Station, 76 Main Street. A party follows at the Parish Hall, across from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, east end of Main Street. Raffle tickets for the tree-lighting are available at Tender Land Home, Phoenicia Diner, Mélange, and Nest Egg. Raffle tickets are $2 apiece and may be purchased for children 12 and under.   

• December 7-23, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Blue Christmas at Phoenicia Playhouse, 10 Church Street. Tickets: $20 general admission, $18 for students and seniors. For reservations, call the box office at 845-688-2279 or buy tickets online at https://phoeniciaplayhouse.com. 

 Saturday, December 15, seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 30th Annual Community Holiday Dinner at the Zen Mountain Monastery, Route 212 and Plank Road, Mount Tremper. To attend or to donate cash, gifts, or time, call 845-688-2228 or email mro@mro.org.