At Winter Walk, Hudson's mile-long main commercial district transforms itself into a festive thoroughfare with twinkling lights, shops decorated in holiday finery, live reindeer, a Victorian gentleman on stilts, African drummers, carolers, a walking Gingerbread Boy, hula hoopers and ballroom dancers, a knight in shining armor and his lady, and a host of other characters and performers. Random acts of merriment abound throughout the evening.The gaiety starts at 5 p.m., and from that moment on, the desire to be in two places at once is great. At the stroke of five, down at the waterfront, there's the traditional lighting of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, while at the same time, at the Hudson Opera House, a trumpet fanfare heralds the beginning of the Santa Parade that ushers Santa and Mrs. Claus to City Hall, where children can tell Santa what they want for Christmas and receive a gift of something that may not be on their list.
This year the festivities extend almost the entire length of Warren Street, from Front Street to Eighth Street, embracing the upper Warren and Columbia area that has dubbed itself Hudson's East End. Down at the bottom of the street, you'll find, among other things, the live reindeer in the 100 block and ten different kinds of eggnog to sample in BeLo3rd's annual Eggnog Challenge. At the top of the street, at the Hudson Chautauqua, cider punch, made from an 18th-century recipe, will be on offer, along with homemade Scots shortbread. In between, there are many things to enjoy--dancers, music, street performers, book signings, window decorations, food of all kinds, and fireworks! You can sample the cuisine of Zak Pelaccio's new restaurant soon to open on South Third Street, but there are conflicting reports about where this can be done. It's either at 13 South Third Street, soon to be the restaurant's location, or 347 Warren Street, the location of Hudson's outdoor "food court."
See you all tonight! Dress warmly and "prepare to be surprised and delighted by bursts of song and dance that often happen spontaneously at Winter Walk." Gossips will be there, driving the Queen of Winter Walk in her royal golf cart, with ear trumpet at the ready in case there's news to be gathered.
The photograph of Winter Walk 2011 is by Albert Gnidica