Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Take a Winter Walk in Quaint Hudson!

  |   November 25, 2012  |  Comment

 

Tucked in between Halloween and Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah comes the Hudson Opera House Winter Walk, now in its 16th year. The first Saturday in December is now treated as a not-to-be-missed additional  holiday, duly  noted on personal calendars all over Columbia and surrounding counties and places as far away as Boston to the East, NYC to the south, and the appointment book of an important resident of the North Pole.

This year, on Saturday, December 1 from 5 pm to 8 pm, visitors to Hudson NY will mingle with residents to celebrate the official beginning of the holiday season. At 4:30 Warren Street is swept clean of parked cars and traffic and a seeming calm falls over the usually busy street, until at 5 pm, the trumpet fanfare and the sights and sounds of the Santa Parade announce the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the elves and the official holiday season begins.

Winter Walk transforms the City of Hudson’s main commercial street into a festive thoroughfare with twinkling lights, brightly decorated shops, horse-drawn wagons offering rides, stilt walkers and marionettes, bagpipers and live reindeer. Look for Frosty the Snowman on the street, as well as Marley’s Ghost and Scrooge, the walking Grandfather Clock, the Tin Soldier, and a host of angels, snowflakes and elves of all sizes.

With a well-earned reputation as a premier Hudson Valley event, Winter Walk is unlike any other holiday festival.  It takes place on the City of Hudson’s mile-long historic Warren Street, stretching from Front Street to 8th Street and spilling out to adjacent streets as well.  It is well known for its quirky take on the holidays and for the diversity of entertainment provided.

Taking full advantage of Hudson’s reputation as a “music town,” Winter Walk provides music for every taste – and, of course, Sax-O-Clause (the artist previously known as Saxophone Santa) is in his usual spot in the 400 block.

To our delight, there is diversity in dance as well. From belly dancers and the Can Can Girl to the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Center’s  ballet troupe, Hip Hop, and the Kuumba Latin Fever Dancers.

Food?  There will be plenty of it, both eat-as-you-go food from street vendors, and sit-down meals at Hudson’s growing list of restaurants—some with tented, heated outdoor dining areas for those who have thought to make reservations ahead.

All in all, visitors will want to check out the new businesses that have opened on or near Warren Street since last year’s Winter Walk.

Finally, if children are in your party, several things should definitely be on your schedule.  A visit to Santa and Mrs. Claus, giving out free gifts in City Hall, is a must.  The popular Tots the Clown, making balloon animals, face painting, and the always entertaining Roger the Jester will all be there. Finally, fireworks,  launched at 8:15 pm from Promenade Hill, will be visible from most places on Warren Street.

Walkers are advised to dress warmly and arrive early to secure a parking spot.  Please be aware that all of Warren Street, from Front Street to 7th Street, will be closed to traffic and parking during Winter Walk.  Only 7th Street and Front Street will be used for through traffic.

Trucks will be re-routed around the city for the evening.  Between 5 pm and 8 pm, cars can use all entry points to the City, but must use Union Street or Columbia Street to head toward 7th Street or Front Street to cross town.

Cars can park in municipal lots on Warren, Union or Columbia Streets, and in other City- owned lots, including the public parking lot at the Consolidated Firehouse at 7th and Washington Streets and the waterfront parking lots at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.  Paid parking is also available at the Amtrak long-term parking lot on Front Street, across from the station.

Winter Walk is produced and presented by the Hudson Opera House, a multi-arts center and major downtown anchor, housed in an 1855 building that was once City Hall.

 

Photos above by: Peter Blandori

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