’Tis the season: Hudson Valley holiday festivities

12/6: Festival of Lights at Senate House in Kingston

The Festival of Lights at the Senate House State Historic Site at 296 Fair Street in Kingston on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. offers a visit with Santa, a free souvenir snowflake necklace and free horse-and-carriage rides through the streets of Uptown Kingston. The Senate House will be decked out with holiday lights and offer chestnuts roasting on an open fire, hot apple cider and carolers. Admission is free. For more information, call (845) 338-2786.

12/6: Snowflake Festival in Kingston

The Snowflake Festival in Kingston on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. will feature Santa and his elves and a Holiday Treasure Map for children, with stocking stuffers along the way. Receive a free stocking at the Volunteer Firemen’s Museum (Fair Street) or LGBTQ Center (Wall Street). Stocking surprises can be found at Bop to Tottom, Loughran House, Hudson Traders, the Deitz Stadium Diner and Kingston Candy Bar. There will be storytelling at the Uptown Gallery (296 Wall Street) with children’s author Rebecca Henderson. Two holiday movies will be shown at 43 North Front Street: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at 7 p.m. and Elf (rated PG) at 8 p.m. The Old Dutch Church will play organ music from 6 to 8 p.m. The Holiday Parade with Santa Claus begins at 5 p.m. at Dietz Stadium, concluding with a Holiday Tree Lighting led by Kingston mayor Shayne Gallo at the intersection of Wall and North Front Streets. The grand marshal will be Evy Larios. A reception for Larios and the Kingston High School Jazz Band will be held at the Fred Johnson Museum at 7 p.m.

The Snowflake Festival is accepting donations for three charities at the event: New Coats for Kids (pre-K to 12), People’s Place and Snowbound Meals for Kids. Donation areas for each of these charities will be set up at various venues along the parade route. For more information, visit www.kingstonuptown.org.

12/6: Benedictine Health Foundation Winter Gala

The annual Winter Gala held by the Benedictine Health Foundation will take place on Friday, December 6 with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m., followed by an awards presentation, dinner and dancing to Bill’s Toupee. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (845) 334-3017 or visit www.benedictinehealthfoundation.org.

12/6-7: Christkindlmarkt European-style holiday in Kingston

Experience the type of traditional Christmas market bazaar found in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in Kingston on Friday, December 6 from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 37 Greenkill Avenue in Kingston, home to the Kingston Maennerchor and Damenchor, the German-language chorus of men and women that promotes German culture and heritage in Ulster County. There will be specialty vendors, giftware, crafts, an Elves’ Table, tempting home-baked treats and German and American refreshments in the cafe. Admission is free. For more information, call (845) 757-5135 or visit www.nyssb.org/kmd.htm.

12/6-7: Celebration of Lights & Fireworks in Poughkeepsie plus Family Day

On Friday, December 6, the City of Poughkeepsie will present its 20th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks. The parade will commence at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Main and Garden Streets and proceed to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting on Main, near Market. The Celebration of Lights Parade is led by Poughkeepsie mayor John Tkazyik, and Santa Claus will end the procession on a City of Poughkeepsie Fire Engine.

There will be a fireworks display along the Poughkeepsie’s waterfront at 7:15 p.m. Walkway over the Hudson’s December Moonwalk will be held during the Celebration of Lights event on Friday from 6-8:30 p.m. (from the Poughkeepsie approach only). Admission is $5 per person, free to Walkway members and children under the age of 16 who are accompanied by an adult. Hot cider & chocolate will be available for purchase.

Throughout the evening, River District establishments (including Amici’s, The Derby, Caffe Aurora, Mahoney’s, Milanese, Noah’s Ark and River Station) will offer entertainment and food and beverage specials. Following the parade and fireworks, the Bardavon will screen the film classic A Christmas Carol (1951) featuring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, at 8 p.m., preceded at 7:30 p.m. with a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ. All seats are $6.

On Saturday, December 7th, the Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and the Bardavon will present its Annual Family Day & Holiday Scavenger Hunt. Participation is free, and scavenger hunt registration begins at 11 a.m. at Caffe Aurora, where registrants will pick up their item card and area map for the hunt, which takes place within Poughkeepsie’s River District and Little Italy. The day’s entertainment at Dongan Square Park begins at noon and will include a petting zoo, performances by Uncle Rock and Story Laurie, carolers, face-painters and Santa Claus.

Parking is available in the City of Poughkeepsie municipal lots. For further details, log on to www.bardavon.org or call (845) 473-2072. Please make sure to call ahead since the Bardavon’s Chris Silva just told us there might have to be raindate for the parade and fireworks!

12/6-8: Ulster Ballet’s A Christmas Carol at UPAC in Kingston

Ulster Ballet’s 19th annual production of A Christmas Carol comes to the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m. featuring a cast of 65 dancers, actors and stage professionals. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Group discounts are available. Tickets are available at the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; the UPAC box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088; or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.bardavon.org.

12/7: Tuba Christmas at SUNY-Ulster

SUNY Ulster’s annual Tuba Christmas will be held on Saturday, December 7 at 3 p.m. at the Ulster Savings Bank Community Conference Center in Stone Ridge. Join tuba and euphonium players of all ages and perform traditional Christmas music from around the world. Participants register at noon, rehearse at 1 p.m., and perform at 3 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public. For information, call (845) 687-5262.

12/7: Sinterklaas Festival continues in Rhinebeck

The Sinterklaas Festival visits Rhinebeck on Saturday, December 7 for a daylong, colorful celebration of dance, theatre and music all over the village. The Children’s Starlight Parade begins at 6 o’clock, featuring two-story-tall animated puppets carried by hundreds of volunteers. Lineup begins at 5 p.m. at the Starr Library parking lot on Route 308. See the Grumpuses, Morris Dancers, Bond Street Stilt Band, Raya Brass Band, Bindlestiff Cirkus, Ivy Vine Players, storyteller Jonathan Kruk, Solas An Lae Irish Step Dancers, Dog on Fleas musical group and more. New additions this year include a Toy Theater Fest, the Snow King and Queen, Mother Holly and Indian Dance. The honored animal this year will be the fox, with a new fox puppet to enjoy. For a schedule of events that take place from 10 a.m. to midnight, visit https://www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com/.

12/7: Festival of Light holiday show at Sinterklaas

The Vanaver Caravan and Arm-of-the-Sea Puppet Theatre will bring an abbreviated version of their “Festival of Light,” a holiday show celebrating the world’s traditions for bringing light, joy and beauty into the darkest part of the year, to the Sinterklaas Festival on Saturday, December 7. The production will honor holiday celebrations that include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, the Winter Solstice, Sankta Lucia (Sweden) and Diwali (India). Three performances of 30 minutes each will be held at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. at the Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck. For more information, call (845) 256-9300 or visit https://www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com/ or www.vanavercaravan.org.

12/7: New York City holiday bus trip from Saugerties

The Girls’ Community Club annual New York City bus trip is scheduled for Saturday, December 7. The bus will leave from the Big Lots parking lot on Route 212 in Saugerties at 7 a.m. and return from New York City from the Hilton Hotel at 6:30 p.m. See a show, shop, visit the holiday sites and see the tree at Rockefeller Center. Round-trip tickets cost $33. Make checks payable to the Girls’ Community Club. For reservations and information, call Leeanne Thornton at (845) 246-5652.

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