The Strand Theater hosts an annual movie as part of the town's Christmas celebration.
Schroon Lake residents will have two opportunities to celebrate this holiday season.
The annual Old Tyme Christmas celebration will again be held — with a new sponsor and new look — along with a First Night program Dec. 31.
The Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce has dropped sponsorship of the Christmas program after 25 years. Instead, the chamber to hold the First Night.
“We’ve had a lot of requests for a First Night,” said Laura Donaldson, chamber president. “Our entire purpose is to help local businesses and we feel a First Night can be a boost. We hope the school will pick up the Christmas program. We’ll do everything we can to assist them, but we won’t sponsor the Christmas program.”
Sharon Piper, co-chair of the First Night committee, echoed Donaldson’s comments.
“This is not a case of either or, Schroon Lake will be able to enjoy both events,” Piper said. “The chamber will be the sponsor of First Night, but we’ll certainly help anyone involved with the Christmas program.”
In the past the annual Christmas celebration included the Schroon Lake Central School winter concert, the lighting of the community Christmas tree, a Living Nativity walk down Main Street to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the arrival of Santa at the Strand Theater, a Christmas movie at the Strand, local performers, a community sing-along at the Community Church, refreshments at the Schroon Lake Senior Center, children’s crafts and activities at the Towne Store and horse and carriage rides leaving from the Grand Union parking.
The chamber held two First Night celebrations in the past — New Year’s Eve 2003 and 2004 — to mark the beginning and end of the town of Schroon’s bicentennial celebration.
“Those First Nights were very successful,” Piper said. “People have asked for another First Night. You could say we’re bringing it back by popular demand.”
First Night plans are not complete, but Piper said it will be a family-oriented event 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. To date the committee has booked magician Sylvia and Her Magic Trunk, the band Loose Connections and the Arts Bucket of Lake George, which will provide children’s activities. Piper hopes other events will be added.
It’s hoped fireworks will be part of the First Night celebration, although the committee is still seeking funding for the pyrotechnics.
“Our fervent hope is that we find the money for fireworks,” Piper said. “I think they would add a lot.”
Donaldson is confident people will enjoy the First Night celebration.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said. “I think it’ll be a great addition to the holidays in Schroon Lake.”