It’s the silver anniversary of Saratoga Springs’ holiday kick off extravaganza near Saratoga Arms. This Upstate New York city is transformed into a Victorian Winter Wonderland on December 1, 2011 from 6-10pm. The main street of Broadway is closed to vehicle traffic as thousands of people take to the streets.
There are over 50 venues of entertainment, from musicians and singers to magicians and Santa himself, there to delight old and young. Our Saratoga Springs Hotel always has a caroling group on the front steps. And many dress in traditional Victorian outfits for the evening.
The shops stay open and many locations serve free hot beverages and treats. It is a wonderful way to start your holiday season.
Amy and Sheila, the Smith sisters from our Saratoga Springs Bed and Breakfast, dressed as Victorian ladies during last year’s streetwalk. Take a peak at their experience.
Saratoga Springs is a special city well renowned for premier racing during the summer at the nation’s oldest thoroughbred track. Every citizen and every visitor, in fact every person walking down the street, can tell you what a furlong is, who won the Travers last year and when post time is for the first race (1pm). The racing season brings special excitement to our city.
But…winter and the start of the holiday season has its own magical style. Last night, Thursday, November 29, 2007, the 21st annual Victorian Streetwalk filled the town with residents and visitors prepared to get into the spirit of the holidays. Normally busy Broadway was closed to traffic for five hours while strollers filled the streets. Shopkeepers opened their doors welcoming customers with goodies and treats…cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, chowder, punch, chestnuts and candy kept shoppers coming back for more. Santa, Mrs. Claus and a few representative reindeer delighted young and old alike at the Santa house in the center of town. Santa was a busy fellow appearing in various incarnations around the city, while Father Christmas greeted passersby and Sax-o-Claus entertained on his “north pole” saxophone. Up and down Broadway choirs singing carols and holiday songs, musicians, jugglers on stilts and entertainers of varied talents entertained the crowds. Our front porch and steps were a natural stage for three different singing groups. It was a real treat to hear. Horse drawn sleigh rides and even a fellow riding an ostrich added to the magical spectacle of the Victorian Streetwalk. Saratoga Arms has the holiday spirit as well. The wonderful white wicker that graces our front porch during the warmer months has been stored away and replaced with hanging greens, red bows and white lights. The mantels inside have been decorated to warmly welcome cold and weary guests.How lucky we are to live in and be a part of this great community!