The City of Plattsburgh will be holding the second annual Downtown Plattsburgh Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting event, Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. This year will feature the traditional float parade and tree lighting at the Strand Center, but will also add new festivities.
The tree lighting will be accompanied by a new Menorah lighting, and the parade route will be extended farther down Margaret Street.
The parade will begin on Brinkerhoff Street, following left onto Oak St, to Court Street and down Margaret Street to end at Pine Street.
Thirty two floats have been registered for the parade, including Loremans’ character float, where Miranda Moose and Chris Mouse will be waving to spectators.
The characters come from North Pole, New York — Home of Santa’s Workshop in Lake Placid.
Loremans’ Customer Service Associate Katelyn Imhosf said participating in the yearly event is “automatic” for Loremans’, as owner Tom Loreman has been involved with the Plattsburgh community for over 30 years.
The store will also offer photos with the North Pole characters before and after the parade, which can be turned into customizable gifts through the shop.
“I hope to expect just a giant number of people smiling and having a wonderful time,” City Development Events and Promotions Coordinator Sandra Geddes said.
Those sponsoring floats will be participating in a contest for “most holiday-themed” design, which will be announced after the parade.
Judges for the contest include city councilors.
The Strand tree and Menorah lighting will directly follow the announcing of the parade float winners.
Last year’s tree lighting was criticized by some for “not having enough lights,” so the Strand Center created a GoFundMe account to help ease the cost of the lights and labor. The theater met its $6,000 goal with over $600 in surplus with help from community donations.
“I’m hoping that The Strand gets major kudos for this amazing tree and the fundraising they did to light the tree,” Geddes said.
Geddes also said community participation is essential for a smooth-running event as large as the holiday festivities. Because The Strand needs help assembling the lights for the tree, Plattsburgh’s Taylor Rentals donates lifts to reach the tops of the trees. She said volunteers also help string the lights along the trees, but the City of Plattsburgh firefighters have donated mornings prior to the lighting to help not only place the lights, but to help with smaller tasks like screwing the individual bulbs into each light socket.
“There’s countless other collaborating groups that volunteer their time. It’s impossible to do this thing without community support,” Geddes said.
Geddes said a lot of her volunteers this year are Plattsburgh State students, through the college’s Community Service Club and Project HELP.
Local businesses also participate by decorating storefronts with holiday lights and winter decorations and holding special deals and promotions to entice those walking through the festivities.
“The Downtown Business Association has been really encouraging downtown businesses to do the decorating, to get involved with the festivities.”
Loremans’ is one of the stores participating. Imhosf said the storefront will be full of lights and winter decorations.
Loremans’ will also be raffling a four-pack of tickets to Santa’s Workshop. Those purchasing holiday gifts will be entered automatically.
“The inside of the store will look like Christmas threw up everywhere,” she said.
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