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Hudson Valley Press

November 30th, 2010

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Once Thanksgiving is over, that means one thing; holiday time! Make sure to attend one of the many Christmas tree lighting ceremonies taking place in Dutchess County. Not to mention that it’s a great opportunity for the kids to get a photo with Santa Claus! From Hyde Park to Millerton, Fishkill to Rhinebeck, there are plenty of opportunities to get ready for all the holiday cheer that comes with Christmas time. All are free of charge!

Amenia's Holiday Open House takes place at the Amenia Free Library on Rte. 343. First the kids line up to have their photos taken with Santa, who arrives by fire truck. Activities and refreshments follow; it's all on Sunday, December 6 from 2:30-4:30pm. Stay around for the tree lighting at Fountain Square at 4:30pm. 845-373-8273.   

Town of East Fishkill
The East Fishkill Community Center Community Center is the place to be for the annual holiday lighting ceremony! Ring in the holidays on December 5 as the school chorus sings and refreshments are served. The kick-off is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club.

Each year the Town of Fishkill puts on a great ceremony for its attendees. On December 5 there's a beautiful lighting ceremony and holiday party. The decorations will catch your eye and get you in the holiday spirit! 845-831-7800.

Hyde Park
Join the candlelight walk, with caroling, refreshments and even a visit from Santa,  The lovely procession takes place on Sunday December 5 at 4:45 pm, from the Hyde Park Methodist Church to the town hall. 845-229-5111.

Make sure to get down to the LaGrange town hall on December 4 to check out their lighting ceremony with music by the area students. Refreshments are provided as well. The event starts at 4:15 pm so be there on time! 845-452-1830 

Take the kids to the Millbrook Village Hall to meet Santa Claus! While you’re at it, check out their beautifully lit tree. The ceremony is Friday, December 3 and starts at 6pm. 845-677-3939.

Don’t miss out on this year’s Decemberfest at Pawling! It begins Friday, November 26 and is sure to be a day full of holiday spirit. Take the kids to see Santa and Mrs. Claus; even their 11 elves will be there! There's a window decorating contest for all ages.   The Pawling Historical Society offers beautiful candlelit tours of the historic John Kane House the first two December weekends. The house is filled with music, and the Victorian Christmas tree has hand crafted ornaments.

The Town of Pawling hosts a tree lighting ceremony Friday, December 3 at 6pm at the Chamber building on Charles Colman Boulevard. Music is provided by the local schools, as well as delicious hot chocolate and cookies. Kids even have the chance to get a gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves! 845-855-0500.

Pine Plains
Pine Plains is known for its decorating day that occurs annually. It's held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 27, starting at 3pm. People gather from all over town to decorate the large number of pine trees provided. There's also hot chocolate and joyful music playing in the background while everyone works together to dress up Pine Plains!

There is also a Parade of Lights on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The parade of decorated vehicles and farm equipment begins at 5pm at Stissing Mountain Jr.-Sr. High School on Rte. 199 and travels through town. The highlight of the event, of course is Santa's arrival. 518-398-7155

Pleasant Valley
The town holds its annual Tree Lighting at 4:45 p.m. Dec. 4 at Mill Site Park on Route 44. At the park the tree will be lit and Santa will arrive. There will be refreshments and the reading of a holiday story at the gazebo. Meet at Key Food Plaza, Route 44 at 4:45pm to pick up candles and song sheets for the “Shine Your Light” parade to the park. Sponsored by Pleasant Valley Recreation Department and area Lions and Rotary clubs. For information call 845-242-4460.

City of Poughkeepsie
The City of Poughkeepsie's big Celebration of Lights Parade kicks off the holiday season on Friday, December 3 at 5:30pm. Join Mayor John Tkazyik and Common Council members to greet the Amerscott Highland Pipers, Arm of the Sea Theatre and IABAS Traditional Brazilian Band, with 200 kids from Warring, Clinton and Circle of Courage elementary schools. Marchers include the Poughkeepsie High School Jazz Ensemble and Middle School Choir, Poughkeepsie Exempt Fireman's Association Color Guard, DARE, Arlington Rotary, Columbia School PTA, Girl & Boy Scouts and several Hudson Valley Philharmonic brass ensembles. Thunder Road Cruisers supply classic cars, plus several floats and a hay ride. Santa arrives on a fire engine. Two Christmas trees are lit, one at Dongan Square. The fireworks finale is at Waryas Park, 1 Main St. on the Hudson River. The film "A Christmas Story" is screened at the Bardavon, 35 Main St., at 8pm; all seats $5. 845-473-2072.

Village of Red Hook
The village's holiday tree lighting takes place on Friday, December 3 at 5pm. The tree lighting is followed by festive activities. 5pm. 845-758-1081.

Mark December 4
on your calendar; Rhinebeck hosts Sinterklaas, a day-long, town wide festival. Celebrate Rhinebeck’s rich heritage, with traditions from Dutch settlers of 300 years ago. You'll see Sinterklaas in an elegant bishop’s hat, ring and cape. The Grumpus, his wild looking sidekick, rattles chains and switches to punish naughty kids. They give out goodies, and Sinterklaas is still a popular Dutch holiday. You'll be amazed at the creative costumes and lanterns, flags and banners, crowns and branches, and town-wide decorations, all made by residents. Shop the Craft Fair 11/21 at Town Hall and for a sneak preview, Sinterklaas arrives by boat at the Rhinecliff dock on 11/27 at 4pm for a party at The Rhinecliff. 845-876-3409.

On December 4 there's a Parade of Lights at 6pm followed by a surprise visit from Santa Claus. Their tree lighting happens at the conclusion of the parade. You won't want to miss this small town's celebration of holiday spirit!  845-868-1366.

Village of Tivoli Winterfest
Be at Tivoli Commons on Saturday, December 11 and treat the kids to a magic show, crafts, games, the Merry Minstrels, and of course, Santa and his reindeer. See the tree lighting and enjoy refreshments. Bonfire and fireworks follow; the fun starts at 2pm. 845-757-2021.

Town of Wappinger
On Saturday, December 4, the annual tree lighting ceremony starts with live music from area bands and festivities, as kids help decorate the tree. Then Santa arrives at Schlathaus Park on a fire engine with gifts for the kids! Myers Corners & All Angels Hill Roads. Rain date is December 5. 845-297-0720

Union Vale (LaGrange)
Experience a stunning festival of lights at Tymor Park in Union Vale on Saturday, December 4. First the children have dinner with Santa from 3-6pm. Then at 6:30pm hear carols by the fife and drum corps as the tree is lit. You wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing more than 140,000 lights and decorations at this spectacular display. 845-724-5691. 

These towns are not having a tree lighting ceremony this holiday season: Beekman, Clinton, Dover, East Fishkill, Milan, and the Town of Poughkeepsie.

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