Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get Ready . . .

Winter Walk is only days away, and The Weather Channel is predicting temperatures ranging from the high 30s to the high 20s for Saturday with little chance of precipitation. Along Warren Street and beyond, lights are being strung, wreaths are being hung, doorways festooned, and shop windows adorned--all in preparation for Hudson's festive kickoff to the holiday season, produced each year since 1997 by the Hudson Opera House. It all happens this Saturday, December 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.  

Here's how Ellen Thurston, perennial prime mover in the planning for this event, described the upcoming festivities in this week's "Ellen's Picks": 

The stars of the show might well be the thirty-four businesses that have moved onto or near Warren Street since last year’s Winter Walk. Six of these are antique stores, and the rest are home furnishings stores, art galleries, several new restaurants, photographic studios, and three vintage clothing stores. The Seventh Street Park area is looking much livelier with the arrival of Park Falafel & Pizza and the community radio station WGXC’s studio, the antique dealers Diehl and Denis, the vintage clothing store Sideshow, and the recent move of John Doe Records and Books to the east side of the park. In addition, three restorers’ studios on or near the park are turning this area into Restoration Row.

We will celebrate all this new energy in many ways on Winter Walk night. The usual assortment of musical tastes and dance styles are available both on the street and in shops.

You might want to sample and taste your way up or down Warren Street! Try jam at TK Home & Garden (441), cheese at Olde Hudson (421), hors d’oeuvres at Tastefully Done catering (430), wine at Hudson Wine Merchants (341½), raw chocolate truffles at Bodhi (323), Chris Hebert’s Mexican food at the CafĂ© in the Hudson Supermarket antique center (310), and tasty sweet bites at the new bakery LOAF (253.) Even your dog can have a treat at Dogs of Hudson (355).

None of these can beat the ultimate tasting—the Twelve Tastes of Eggnog below Third Street. Pick up a ballot at any business below Third and cast your vote for the best holiday beverage. Then to work off the calories, get a free tango lesson at Club Helsinki at Columbia and Fourth or try hula-hooping with the "Spinstress" in the window of Olde Hudson.

There are many “must-sees” for kids: Santa & Mrs. Claus handing out gifts in City Hall; Sax-o-Claus, hanging out in the 400 block; the live reindeer below Third; and the mini horses (weather permitting) at 5th and Warren. Roger the Jester will be in the 300 block, and balloon animals by Tots the Clown and face painting by the Ichabod Crane freshman class will be in the Holiday Funhouse at 554 Warren. Horse-drawn wagon rides are available at Seventh Street Park and in the 400 block. At the end of the evening, fireworks will go off on Promenade Hill at the foot of Warren, visible from many points on Warren Street.

New characters will be roaming the streets, including Marley’s Ghost and Scrooge, reveling in each other’s misery, and a whole flock of snowflakes, perhaps forecasting the real thing. You never know. Winter Walk has seen 60 degree weather (only once!) and a traffic-stopping blizzard (thankfully, only once!), and everything else in between. The important thing is that we come together and try not to miss a thing on the walk from Eighth Street to Second Street.

For the weary, free City trolleys run in both directions on Columbia Street until 8:30.

Check the Hudson Opera House website for information about traffic restrictions and parking possibilities. A complete schedule of events will be posted midweek.

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