Friday, October 30, 2020

Yes, Virginia, There Will Be a Winter Walk!

As the weather grows colder, and the holidays approach, the question in many people's minds is, "Will there be a Winter Walk?" COVID-19 has changed so much in our lives, could it be that a holiday festival the people of Hudson and Columbia County anticipate and embrace each year could be a casualty of the pandemic?

Since 1997, Winter Walk has been a beloved part of the holiday season in Hudson. Only once, in 2003, when a winter nor'easter dumped two feet of snow on Hudson, did Winter Walk ever not occur on the first Saturday in December. (That year, it was postponed a week.) With that history, Hudson Hall, which has produced Winter Walk for lo these twenty-three years, sought a way to carry on the tradition to the twenty-fourth year, during this challenging time, while keeping the community safe. Today, Hudson Hall is thrilled to announce Winter Walk 2020: The Hudson Safe Edition.

Instead of closing off Warren Street for a blowout celebration involving tens of thousands of people on a single evening, Winter Walk 2020 will begin on Saturday, December 5, and continue through the month of December. Many of the things everyone has come to expect from Winter Walk--holiday lights, lavishly decorated shop windows, Santa's Village in Seventh Street Park, holiday shopping in unique local shops, fireworks that light up the winter sky, and an appearance by Santa himself--will all be part of Winter Walk 2020, re-imagined for the pandemic.

On Saturday, December 5, the evening will begin with Sax O Claus, a Winter Walk regular, strolling down the street playing cool jazz on his saxophone--a truly Hudson style Santa. Throughout the evening, folks can enjoy, as the event's name suggests, a winter walk along Warren Street, enjoying the festive sights, doing some holiday shopping, and greeting friends--at a safe distance. At Seventh Street Park, families can visit Santa's Village, a Hudson tradition for decades. The evening will conclude, as always, with a festive fireworks display over Promenade Hill, which people can watch in place, safely distanced.

The festivities of Winter Walk 2020 will not end with the fireworks finale on December 5. They continue in the following weeks. At Hudson Hall, there will be timed-entry, by reservation Zoom visits for children with Santa Claus, in a room decorated especially for the jolly old fellow. In Seventh Street Park, there will be the lighting of the Christmas tree and the nightly lighting of the candles on the Hanukkah menorah, and there will be a virtual Kwanzaa celebration. Throughout December, everyone can enjoy nights of evening shopping on Warren Street to find the perfect holiday gifts and, as always, dining in Hudson's celebrated restaurants.

So, find yourself a suitable holiday mask and get ready to enjoy the warmth and excitement of the holidays in Hudson, while staying safe and distanced, during Winter Walk 2020: The Hudson Safe Edition.

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