Let There Be ... Lights!Dec 04, 2013
Decorated storefronts, candlelight tours, fireworks shows: throughout New York State the holiday season is being celebrated with more than just tree lightings. Here's a look at select events (most of them this weekend) in every region. High Peaks Resort's Yule Log Hunt & Ceremony. First started in 1911, a log of of eight to 14 feet is hidden in the woods, and participants embark on a quest to find it. The High Peaks Resort sounds a bugle at 4:00 p.m. and the hunt begins. The first person to locate the log rides into town as the "losers" tow it (talk about a victory lap). A portion of the log is then chopped and burned at a public bonfire at Mid's Park, while another part of the log is saved either to share with other communities who participate in this tradition, or to use as kindling for next year's fire. Saratoga Festival of Trees, held at the Saratoga Springs City Center, to see hundreds of highly-decorated holiday trees, as well as crafts available for sale. Extend the experience on Thursday night by strolling along the Victorian Streetwalk and attending the 6:00 p.m. outdoor tree lighting. Depuy Canal House), Santa, songs and sparkling lights at the High Falls-Marbletown Tree Lighting Ceremony. Sharon Springs Victorian Holiday Celebration. At 3:30p.m., those Fabulous Beekman Boys are emceeing a Victorian costume contest. Don your best Dickensian duds for a chance to win a gift certificate to the American Hotel, among other prizes. The day culminates in the tree lighting ceremony and caroling at 7:00p.m. The Jamestown Snowball Express Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration wends its way down Third Street with a parade led by a steam engine, and saving the best for last with Santa Claus on a caboose at the end. A snowball drop, tree lighting and fireworks show round out the festive evening. turning on the lights of downtown's Liberty Pole. A town with a musical culture as rich as Rochester's doesn't disappoint in that department: the Prime Time Brass band leads a lively parade from the tree to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park's ice skating rink. The evening's not over until a fireworks show lights up the town. Beacon Hebrew Alliance has partnered with BeaconArts to create a menorah welded from salvaged bikes. Local artist Ed Benavente's sculpture must be seen to be believed. Sagtikos Manor for a tour and a fittingly historic lesson in this historic home. The holiday house tour's theme changes from year to year, and this season it's "Here We Come a Caroling." In each room, decorated to the nines for Christmas, a docent provides a story about a particular Christmas carol. Warm beverages, cookies and holiday present ideas in the gift shop will put you in a very festive mood. The Fund for Park Avenue in Manhattan continues its 68 year tradition of stringing lights along firs planted in the median of Park Avenue, in honor of soldiers who died in military service. The lights on the trees are turned on simultaneously, creating a stunning spectacle for block after block. The ceremony is preceded by cookies, hot cocoa and crafts inside Brick Church, the event's home base, as well as holiday carols in the closed-off streets of Park Avenue. Sparkle festival. The streets are blocked off to accommodate dance and musical performances, as well as carriage rides. Be sure to stop by the Corning Museum of Glass beforehand for the Holiday Open House. Admission is free to all, and visitors can take advantage of a discounted Make Your Own Glass experience; you can create a one-of-a-kind holiday ornament for your home tree at a cost of only $12.00 each. Public Square hosts a multi-media evening with its tree lighting, a light display, musical performances by The Jefferson State Singers from SUNY's Jefferson State Community College. ignite a fireworks display. The ceremony also marks the official seasonal launch of the free, open to the public ice skating rink (through Feb. 21) sponsored by First Niagara Bank; the only associated cost is a reasonable $2.00 skate rental for those without a pair of blades.