The city of Plattsburgh welcomed the holiday season with the fourth-annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Saturday evening downtown in front of the Strand Center for the Arts.

Hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Strand, the 35-float parade started near Redcay Hall at 5:30 p.m., led by the grand martial Rabbi David Kominsky and Temple Beth Israel’s float. A few people dressed in people-sized dreidels spinning down the streets to celebrate Hanukkah, which started the next day.

It traveled down Brinkerhoff Street, left to Oak Street, right on Court Street, right on Margaret Street and ended on Pine Street near the City Police Department according to a parade press release.

Immediately after the parade crossed the Strand Center stage, the Center Stage Plattsburgh Dancers performed to holiday tunes to prepare for the Christmas tree lighting.

Executive Director of the Strand Bob Garcia said the Christmas tree lights and the large topper were all made possible through a fundraiser the Center had the previous year. Garcia was also a judge for the parade, scoring the extravagant floats as they passed by the stage.

In the past, the Strand has not always been involved with the parade, but the large tree in the lawn has been lit up. After watching this year’s festivities, Garcia is thinking about entering the parade next year to spread some cheer.

“It’s very important to have people gather at our arts center and be part of the holiday spirit,” Garcia said. “It shows the community that the Strand Center Theatre and the Arts Center is the city’s arts corridor.”

To make the Center an even larger staple in the community, Garcia is planning on opening up the lawn to make it “warmer and inviting.” He wants an outdoor stage and extra signage to really show the community what the arts center has to offer.

Members of Theta Phi Alpha volunteered at the event. Sisters Ashley Kreib and Alex Smith were watching over the corner of Court Street and Margaret Street. While they may have been chilly in the 34-degree night clutching their hot chocolate, they were happy to be volunteering.

“It’s really nice to see all of the families and kids dressed up,” Kreib said.

The two were joined by other Theta Phi Alpha sisters helping with the parade festivities, some even marching along with the other groups. This organization was volunteered for the Future Fraternal service project.

To end the night, Mayor Colin Read once again led everyone crowded at the corner of Brinkerhoff Street and Margaret Street in a countdown to light the tree in front of the Strand lined with bright white lights and a large snowflake topper.

Once the tree was lit and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was playing, guests made their way out of the chilly streets, having welcomed holiday cheer into the city of Plattsburgh.

Email Jacob Elsbree at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/jacob-elsbree/" rel="tag">Jacob Elsbree</a>