Community to kick off holiday season with parade

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

This year’s Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony will be held Saturday. Pictured is the 2021 parade. File photo

RAVENA-COEYMANS — With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the community is looking ahead to the next few weeks of holiday celebrations.

The unofficial kickoff to the season begins this weekend with the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony for both the village and the town.

The parade will take place this Saturday, Dec. 3, and will begin at Coeymans Landing Park with the lineup of marchers and floats, and the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree.

The Coeymans Landing Park tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and then marchers will take off along the parade route.

After the parade leaves Coeymans Landing Park, marchers will head up Westerlo Street to Main Street and into the village to light the tree opposite the Ravena firehouse before marching to Mosher Park for the parade’s conclusion, Mayor Bill Misuraca said at the village board’s Nov. 15 meeting.

 “We will travel the normal route up the Coeymans hill and then into the village,” Misuraca said. “We will stop briefly at [the village’s] tree, light it, and then we will go to the park like last year. That was really successful — we had a really good turnout.”

“We have our fingers crossed for the weather — hopefully it will warm up a bit,” Misuraca added.

Once marchers reach Mosher Park, there will be a bonfire and more festivities, Town Highway Superintendent Daniel Baker said.

And what’s a Christmas parade without activities and a visit from Jolly Ol’ St. Nick?

“We’ve got a really cool craft this year. I won’t ruin the surprise, but it’s very interactive and it’s going to be good,” Misuraca said. “We will also have music and refreshments, and Santa Claus will be there. People can take photos, and we will have a bonfire, too.”

There will be light refreshments donated by local businesses, ornament decorating with the mayor and more activities.

The annual parade and tree lighting ceremony is just the start of the holiday season. There’s plenty more in store for those looking to get their holiday groove on.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, before the big parade, families in the Coeymans Hollow Fire District are invited to “Lunch with Santa,” beginning at noon, in the community room at the Coeymans Hollow firehouse on Route 143.

Lunch will include chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and, of course, cookies! The Coeymans Hollow Ladies Auxiliary will be making huge batches of cookies for Santa and all his young fans. Kids can also do arts and crafts, and another special guest will be attending to get everyone in a festive mood.

“Lunch with Santa” is for kids ages 10 and under who live in the Coeymans Hollow Fire District. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

A members-only Christmas party is also scheduled by the Coeymans Hollow Volunteer Fire Corporation for Dec. 10, beginning at 6 p.m. If you are a firehouse member and want to attend, please sign up on the sheet posted in the downstairs kitchen of the firehouse no later than Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Got a sweet tooth? You can also head to the RCS Community Library on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. for “Sweets with Santa,” where little ones can enjoy holiday stories and seasonal cheer. Enjoy a holiday craft and a winter science experiment, write a letter to Santa and pick out a book to take home, along with your sweet treat goodie bag. The event is for children ages 2-10, accompanied by a caregiver. Registration is appreciated by contacting the RCS Community Library at 518-756-2053 or info@rcscommunitylibrary.org.

On the evenings of Dec. 16 and 17, the Village of Ravena Fire Department will escort Santa Claus through the village, beginning at 6 p.m. both evenings. The trip is Santa’s preview of the neighborhood in preparation for his big night on Christmas Eve.

“As is the case every year, Santa would love nothing more than to say hello to everyone as he tours the village of Ravena,” according to the Ravena Fire Department.

Are you a whiz at holiday decorations? The village is holding its annual Christmas Decorating Contest later this month, with three prizes for the winners.

“We will be driving around checking out those lights,” Misuraca said at the Nov. 15 meeting.

Village board members will travel around the community judging holiday light displays at local homes from Dec. 17 through Dec. 19, and the winners will be announced Dec. 20.

First place winner will receive a $100 gift card, second place will get a $75 gift card and third place, a $50 gift card.

The annual contest always draws a lot of participation, with homeowners jazzing up their homes and properties with holiday lights, wreaths, Christmas trees, Santas and more.

“Everybody always does an awesome job with that,” Misuraca said.

If you are looking to get some holiday shopping done and want to support local artisans and businesses, you can head to the Coeymans Auxiliary’s annual Holiday Fair this weekend, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Coeymans firehouse at the intersection of Church and Main streets.

The next couple of weeks will be busy in Ravena and Coeymans, with plenty of other events and activities sponsored by local churches, organizations, and the school district.

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected for errors in the parade route and start time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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