WARRENSBURG - While some folks are driving to big-box stores and malls this weekend, others are headed for Warrensburg to experience the traditional ambiance and activities of the holiday season.
The annual Christmas in Warrensburgh celebration, embracing tradition while offering fun activities for all ages, is set for Saturday and Sunday Dec. 4 and 5.
This year's edition of the fest marks its 22nd year of celebrating the holidays with craft demonstrations and sales, caroling, church bazaars, children's activities, traditional acoustic music, gift shopping, and profound hospitality throughout the community.
Event founder Teresa Whalen said Tuesday it's been heartwarming to see more and more people each year discovering the holiday traditions that Christmas in Warrensburg emphasizes.
"Our holiday festival has grown and flourished, and has enjoyed ever-increasing appeal to visitors who come here and stay for a weekend," she said.
This year's theme, "Bountiful Harvest," is more than just a focus on locally produced, handcrafted foods, she said.
Christmas in Warrensburg brings people of all ages together in a festive spirit, and promotes spiritual and cultural enrichment, she said.
"Our theme embraces aspects of small-town life in our community we're thankful for and we're happy to share with others," she said. "It's all about sharing an old-fashioned holiday celebration in the Adirondack Mountains."
Friday Dec. 3, Events & Activities
• Christmas-themed readings by authors, 7 p.m. at Willows Bistro, Main St. downtown. Kathleen O'Day, Pat Leonard, John Gable, and others will be reading their works.
Saturday Dec. 4, Events & Activities
• The holiday celebrations are held throughout town, but the Warrensburg Town Hall, turned into "Toyland" for Saturday, is a main focus for children's activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here, children will be making gingerbread houses, ornaments and other crafts including wooden toys. Also, Santa will be visiting with live reindeer, giving rides for children in a cart. There will be bake sales and food concessions, Christmas-inspired face-painting, as well as holiday postal cancellations. Photos with Santa will be available from 10 a.m. to noon, and Carriage Rides with "Teddy" the miniature horse will be available 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Create-an-Ornament sessions for children, sponsored as a fundraiser by a local church youth group.
• Holiday music will be offered at 2 p.m. in the Warrensburg Town Hall by the Warrensburg Elementary Chorus. Also, the Warrensburg High School Band will be performing several places around town on both Saturday and Sunday.
• Exhibit and tips on using local, healthy foods in holiday meals and celebrations, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Town Hall, presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension.
• Origami and miniature watercolor workshops with Sudjai Bentley, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Warrensburg Town Hall.
• Wreath making and holiday decorating with Adirondack native plants, demonstrations and sales, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.outside the Warrensburg Town Hall.
• At most all the churches downtown, there will be bazaars and food sales. This includes the First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, and Holy Cross Episcopal Church. Plus a craft sale is also being held at the Countryside Adult Home, Schroon River Rd.
• Craft demonstrations and sales will also be held, at Riverside Gallery and Miller Art & Frame, with traditional rug hooking by Joan Mohrmann, spinning and weaving by Serendipity Spinners, and porcupine quill work by Thomas Mowatt (at Riverside).
• Holiday decor on display and on sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Original Lincoln Logs' model home on lower Rte. 9, Decor creations are by Miller Art & Frame staffers and other local artisans. Lincoln Logs will also be hosting presentations by by Dick Nason on Early Days of Logging in the Adirondacks. Call 824-2100 for times and details.
• Puppet workshop with stories and music by Chip Beers, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Richards Library, which is also hosting storytelling by children's book author John Gable from 10 to 11 a.m.
• Music for the Christmas season from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras performed on acoustic recorders by members of Courtly Music Unlimited, 7 p.m. at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church. The talented group features Elaine and Richie Hensler and friends.
• Open Houses at various local businesses including Adirondack Rustic Interiors, Rebecca's Florist, Miller Art & Frame and Riverside Gallery.
• The Warrensburg Museum of Local History is featuring their "Dressed for the Holidays" exhibit, a display of vintage toy train accessories, and a children's play table featuring historical landmarks, all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also at the museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the signing of "Around Warrensburg" books by local historian John Hastings. The museum is two buildings north of Stewart's Shop on Main St.; entrance is in the rear.
• Book signings and readings by local authors, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Willows Bistro. 10 a.m.- John Hastings of Warrensburg with his local historical volume, 11 a.m.- Pat Leonard of Warrensburg; noon- three poets: Mary Sanders Shartle, Elaine Handley and Marilyn McCabe. 1 p.m.- author/playwright/poet Jessica Kane of Brant Lake with her spoken word or perhaps a short story or two. 2 p.m.- Elizabeth Marrett; 3 p.m.- children's author John Gable to read.
• The annual tree-lighting ceremony at the uptown Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand is at 6 p.m., featuring the arrival of Santa, caroling, music, hot chocolate and cookies. The event features music by the Warrensburg Elementary School Holiday Band. Caroling will feature local Cub Scouts and members of the United Methodist Church choir.
• Christmas Country Karaoke, 7 p.m. at Ashe's Hotel, a favorite local tavern.
• Holiday Dinner specials offered at local restaurants.
Sunday Dec. 5 - Events & Activities
• Holiday craft fair at Echo Lake Lodge, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dozens of artisans and crafters demonstrating and displaying their wares.
• Breakfast with Santa, at Willows Bistro, upper Main St., 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., complete with book signings by children's author John Gable.
• The Warrensburg Museum of Local History features their "Dressed for the Holidays" exhibit, a display of vintage toy train accessories, and a children's play table featuring historical landmarks, all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is two buildings north of Stewart's Shop on Main St.; entrance is in the rear.
• Holiday decor on display and on sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Original Lincoln Logs' model home on lower Rte. 9, Decor creations are by Miller Art & Frame staffers and other local artisans.
Christmas in Warrensburgh Founder Teresa Whalen said she was excited about the celebration's 22th anniversary.
"This event is for families and children - a time for our community to get together and share the holiday spirit," she said. "It's been 20 years of music, magic and memories."