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Winter Wonderland


Tree-lighting ceremonies and window-dressing unveilings are – or at least should be – a part of every small town’s Holiday celebrations. But few can match the “city” of Hudson, which sits on the banks of the Hudson River about 120 miles north of NYC and which has, for the last eight years, hosted an event on the first Saturday of December entitled Winter Walk. It’s partly an attempt to revive the Christmas spirit of the Victorian era, and partly a means by which to boost foot traffic on an already thriving Main Drag called Warren Street. Hudson underwent terrible times through much of the late 20th Century, and its revitalization is one of the great success stories of what’s fast becoming known as the “art corridor” of riverside towns all the way up the Hudson.

I now understand why the Winter Walk is the City of Hudson’s annual highlight. I drove straight up from NYC on Saturday and met my family on the Village Green; for the next three hours, in frigid temperatures that tested even us supposedly hardened mountain-dwellers, we roamed the street and the shops, partaking of free mulled wine and cider, buying home-made brownies and hot chocolate to benefit local schools projects, and generally making the most of the many and varied forms of entertainment, which concluded with a fireworks show over the river, viewable from all the way up the gently sloping streets. Here are some pictorial highlights:

The Victorian Revival element: street-side Caroling and elaborate window-dressing.

The Jester kept Campbell rooted to one spot for over an hour. Meantime, the Stilt Walker and Gingerbread Man roamed up and down the street bringing more smiles to everyone’s faces.

Believe it or not, this duo in an art gallery is playing The Who’s ‘Behind Blue Eyes.’ I got in a quick conversation with the guitarist while he was tuning and when he offered to play some Zeppelin, I let on that I was more of a Who fan. They did it justice, by the way. And no street celebration would be complete without the local High School kids dancing to the latest street jams.

The window dressing included this frost-bitten hand emerging from cotton ball snow in a jewlery store… And there were many examples of living Mannequins.

No Christmas party is complete without a reindeer or two. Did you know that female reindeers live to 20+ years, but male reindeers rarely make it beyond the age of 5? This female is aged 7 and has, according to her owner (who brought her down from Saratoga Springs), “the finest rack” he’s ever seen at this age…

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