WARRENSBURG - A substantial number of children and families participated in this year's Christmas in Warrensburgh event, which offered traditional holiday music, craft-making and activities for children and families reminiscent of a bygone era, event organizer Teresa Whalen said Monday.
And although Santa and his helpers may have bungled a detail or two in the traditional tree-lighting ceremony, it didn't dampen the fun people had, she said.
"There were a lot of families and children attending this year," she added, noting attendance that was perhaps greater than other recent years. "Everyone caught the holiday spirit - not only children, but the young at heart."
Dozens of children enjoyed making gingerbread houses, ornaments and crafts including winter toys at the town hall, converted for a day into "Toyland." Some children focused on fashioning Origami creations, a variety of natural crafts and watercolor paintings - all under the tutelage of North Country artisans.
Skye Gregson, daughter of Barry Gregson of Schroon Lake's Adirondack Rustic Gallery, fashioned wooden toys for children to play with, and her father also attended, mentoring craft sessions. The two reported they used twice as much material as in recent years, which indicated the popularity of the sessions. Barry's mother Carol Gregson, famous as the "Pottersville Complainer," was among those spinning natural fibers in traditional craft demonstrations during the weekend at Riverside Gallery.
At the Warrensburg Museum of History, a stream of visitors browsed among the artifacts and displays, according to Museum Director Steve Parisi.
"We're very happy that we hosted more than 50 people - more than last year," he said.
Parisi added that a lot of people appreciated the Museum's new Veterans Appreciation Room which includes excerpts from Joe Aiken's World War I diary and photos he took while he was serving on the war's front lines as an ambulance driver. Aiken's uniform is included in the collection.
During Christmas in Warrensburg weekend, the Museum also hosted an exhibit of toy trains and accessories, in Lionel scale. The display intrigued the crowd, Parisi said.
Outside, children took carriage rides around the town hall in a downsized rig pulled by miniature horses.
Two reindeer - one a mere baby -- were on site in pens, for children's enjoyment and edification - included were educational signs on their pen describing the creatures' habits and habitat.
While the churches around town hosted bazaars and food sales, Riverside Gallery hosted craft demonstrations including rug hooking, spinning, weaving and porcupine quill work.
Saturday night's concert at St. Cecilia Catholic Church,featured advent selections from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras performed on acoustic recorders by the Courtly Music Unlimited group. The presentation was well received by good crowd, Whalen said.
"The concert was spectacular and very well-attended," she said.
The prevailing cold weather didn't keep people away during the day, although the evening tree-lighting might have been a different matter, she said.
A daytime outdoor instruction session on wreath-making with Adirondack native plants, was well attended, she said.
By the fall of darkness however, the crowds dissipated. Gone were the scouts who were scheduled to sing carols at the tree lighting ceremony at the town's historic bandstand.
Santa was scheduled to wait until a crowd formed and then arrive out of the darkness in an aura of magical suspense, Whalen said - then after introductions, carols and pastoral prayers, the ceremonial town tree is lit, according to the event's tradition.
Instead, Santa just plugged in the tree early without the traditional fanfare, and few people were present.
Whalen said she was aghast when she saw the tree suddenly illuminate with no crowd.
"I'm like, what the heck is going on?" she said Monday, recalling she hurried across the street to see what was transpiring and was nearly rammed by a vehicle - which complicated matters.
With few present, no caroling scouts and no pastor blessing the tree, members of the local Elementary School Band played to the few brave souls left wondering what was going on.
Then the hot chocolate showed up 15 minutes later after the stragglers left, she said.
Whalen said these issues didn't dampen her enthusiasm for the weekend, and she added she didn't blame Santa in the least for the short-circuited schedule.
"It was not a problem, our Santa's always been the best,' she said, noting he was apologetic for any mishaps he or others might have been a part of.
Whalen said the weekend had delighted crowds despite the off-kilter tree-lighting event.
"It was delightful sharing an old-fashioned holiday celebration in the Adirondack Mountains," she said.