In years past, the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, Historic Huguenot Street and the New Paltz Reformed Church have all organized their own pre-holiday festivities, sometimes on the same date and competing for residents’ attendance. This year, for the first time, “Historic Huguenot Street and the Reformed Church are working together. That’s really big,” says Chamber president Kathy Prizzia of the events unfolding on Huguenot Street on Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5. “It’s strengthening what we’re doing at the Chamber: trying to work together as a community.”
From 4 p.m. on Friday to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Huguenot Street will be closed to traffic, lined with luminarias and full of various family-friendly events, including horse-drawn wagon rides on Saturday, co-sponsored by the Chamber. The annual community tree-lighting by local dignitaries and group caroling will take place on the Deyo House lawn at 74 Huguenot Street at 7 p.m. on Friday evening, after which Santa will arrive with a little treat for all the children.
An intriguing new offering this year will be a pop-up chocolate shop hosted by the DuBois Fort Visitor Center at 81 Huguenot Street. Open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, it will be run by Lagusta’s Luscious, so you can expect out-of-the-ordinary flavor combinations. Also getting underway at 4 p.m., and setting out from the DuBois Fort on the hour until 9 Friday night and again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, will be Historic Huguenot Street’s special holiday-themed stone house tours. There’s a $15 per person charge for the tours, and they fill up, so preregistration is recommended at https://historic-huguenot-street-museum-shop.myshopify.com/collections/events/products/a-holiday-on-huguenot-street-tour-tickets.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, the Reformed Church’s Christmas Fair opens in the Wullschleger Education Building at 92 Huguenot Street. It will reopen at 9 a.m. on Saturday. At 6 p.m. on Friday, the Church’s front steps will become a magnet for chilled visitors as it presents its popular Soup on the Stoop event, accompanied by a live outdoor concert from the Reformed Church Choir. At 7:30 p.m. at the Church, vocalist Kate Weston will front the Big Blue Big Band with some holiday swing.
On Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Reformed Church’s Social Hall will host a Christmas Café. Horse-drawn wagon rides will depart from the DuBois Fort Visitor Center every 15 minutes from 1 until 4 p.m. The charge is $5 per person; children age 3 and under ride for free. Beginning at 2 p.m., Deyo Hall at 6 Broadhead Avenue will host a Kids’ Crafts workshop courtesy of Hurds Family Farm.