GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday night, a swath of Glens Falls’ residents bundled up and came out to City Park. Clustered along Glen Street, as city police officers directed traffic away to clear a path. Sorry, everyone, but you’ll have to find another way to the South Glens Falls bridge for a while. Santa Claus is coming to town.
Friday night marked the start of Glens Falls’ hometown holiday weekend with Christkindlmarkt, a German-inspired holiday festival and celebration. A full market under warm tents sprawled across City Park, by Crandall Public Library and the city pavilion. Hot chocolate and other treats were served for all. At the head of the park, the city Christmas tree stood, waiting to be lit.
A parade brought Santa to town, aboard a sleigh carried by a Falls Farm & Garden truck. From atop it, microphone on, Santa greeted the city as he arrived at City Park after a voyage from Crandall Park. City Mayor Bill Collins ran alongside the float, throwing handfuls of candy to cheering onlookers.
After the parade, the crowd gathered around the city tree for lighting. Collins, Santa and a pair of friendly reindeer came to count down the moment when the lights turned on – but, when they should have blinked on, they stayed dark for a moment.
Santa Claus had already given a speech asking for parents and children to be kind to each other in the new year. As the mayor and some city employees rushed to work out the kinks in the Christmas magic, Santa took a moment to point to one local hero whose presence this year has been sorely missed by the city at large.
“As most of you know, if you’ve been here a few years, you’ve seen Mike DuBray here,” Santa said, referring to a beloved local DJ and WCKM radio personality who passed away in January. “Mike is no longer with us, and he can no longer participate in these festivities, and that is a sad thing for all of us. Most of us knew Mike DuBray, in one way or another – he touched our lives. That’s why I ask you to be a little kinder this year.”
Santa continued on, starting to ask a girl in the audience what she wanted for Christmas. As she thought about it, the Christmas tree lit up at last.
Following the lighting, Santa headed to Glens Falls National Bank, to meet children excited to tell him what they were wishing for. Dance students from Bolton Dance Academy put on a holiday performance along Maple Street. Sax-o-Claus – who is exactly what he sounds like, donning Saint Nick’s robes and a shining saxophone – could be found walking around town, playing for whoever would listen – even inside Glen Street businesses like Spot Coffee.
When asked how he could be playing the saxophone while also across the street greeting children, Sax-o-Claus declined to comment. It’s all part of the holiday magic.