If you trek into downtown Schenectady on Saturday, you may just run smack dab into Santa Claus, Rudolph, horses pulling carriages or live musical performances.
That’s because the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. is hosting its 10th annual Holiday Open House, which features holiday entertainment, refreshments, crafts, musical performances and much more throughout downtown.
“The Holiday Open House is a great way to attract people to downtown Schenectady at the beginning of the holiday season and introduce them to our local businesses and attractions,” said DSIC Executive Director Jim Salengo. “Once visitors experience all that downtown Schenectady has to offer, we hope to welcome them back as regular supporters and consumers.”
For more information
To see a full schedule of activities, visit www.downtownschenectady.com.
The open house runs from noon to 5 p.m. and takes place primarily along the Jay Street Marketplace, State Street, Union Street, North Broadway and South Ferry Street.
Inside City Hall, visitors can find free children’s crafts, performances and the chance to take family photos with Santa Claus. Outside, free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available on the streets around City Hall.
From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., students from the Schenectady High School Dance Department will perform live in front of City Hall’s main outdoor staircase. At 4:45 p.m., a bagpipe procession including elected officials, Santa and Rudolph will march from City Hall to the corner of State and Jay streets for the 5 p.m. city tree-lighting ceremony.
There will also be on-site radio broadcasts at City Hall by Pop Crush (105.7 FM) from noon to 2 p.m. and WGNA (107.7 FM) from 3 to 5 p.m.
The Schenectady County Public Library’s central branch will host a holiday-themed trivia quiz. It will also present a live performance of “A Christmas Carol” by Hampstead Stage Co., a touring theater company from New Hampshire.
A Holiday Cash Dash table will be set up at the library’s central branch. The first 50 people who spend $25 or more at any downtown businesses and return their printed receipts to the table by 4 p.m. will receive a free pair of Proctors movie passes.
The Historic Lower Union Street District will host a holiday Cookie Crawl, with businesses offering holiday cookies either for free or as special bonuses with in-store purchases.
Visitors can ride the free Holly Jolly Union College Trolley around downtown all afternoon. It will make stops at State and Jay streets (under the Proctors marquee), the corner of Union and Barrett streets, the corner of Union Street and North Broadway and the corner of Union Street and Washington Avenue for a Festival of Trees ceremony put on each year by the YWCA NorthEastern NY and Schenectady County Historical Society.
This year, the open house is sponsored by Townsquare Media, the Times Union, KeyBank, the city of Schenectady and a grant from the Schenectady County Legislature.