by Katie Drake

Everywhere you go, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our little City.

The hardworking DPW crew spent many hours decorating our Main Street canopy and light poles. We don’t have a 5 and 10, but glistening once again are our shop owner’s stunning window displays.

The beautiful star next to Paca Gardens greets you as you drive across the bridge. The little park across from Henry and Jimmy’s is twinkling. Benton’s Landing has a handsome light display. Volunteers have been working together in Canal Place to light up Sterzinar Park for the Celebration of Lights. Even Lock 17 is all aglow.

And perhaps the prettiest sight you will see is the holly that will be on your own front door. Many residents outdo their home decorations every year.

A few short months ago, on a warm sunny afternoon, the committee for Christmas in Little Falls met to start planning.

Many meetings, conversations, phone calls, texts, and emails to coordinate efforts with businesses, individuals, non-profits, our school, and the community to put together a list of over 45 activities, performances, and events in a three-day period.

This year Christmas in Little Falls will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 9th, 10th, and 11th. Tony DeLuca, Executive Director of the LF Youth and Family Center, said, “It’s a feel-good community celebration!”

Christmas in Little Falls kicks off the weekend on Friday night, December 10th, with the first annual Celebration of Lights from 5-8 pm.

Groups of volunteers and generous donations by the business help to make this magical night possible by transforming Sterzinar park into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights.

Chair for Celebration of Lights, Caren Woolner, is exceptionally passionate about the community of Little Falls and about Christmas. “It’s just really inspiring to me to experience the spirit of volunteerism in our community and what we can create together. The enthusiasm is contagious! We are able to create a magical winter wonderland experience that is accessible to everyone. It’s the stuff holiday memories are made of.”

New, this year for Friday night’s Celebration of Lights are free horse-drawn carriage rides from 5-8 pm, vendors, food, a yarnbombing display on the trees in the park by Tuesday Night Knitters, and a fun lineup of live outdoor dance and musical performances on the sound stage with John Seymour and special emcee Quintin Smith.

The tree lighting will take place around 7:30 pm with LFCSD Benton Hall Principal, Mr. Joe Long, who was nominated this year to do the honors of lighting the tree.

It’s not too late to sign up to volunteer to decorate Sterzinar Park or help out on Saturday.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

  1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp: https://signup.com/go/GgfOiZN
  2. Enter your email address:(You will NOT need to register an account on SignUp)
  3. Sign up! Choose your spots – SignUp will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
  4. SignUp does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact anyone on the committee, and we’ll help you get signed up.

Mayor Mark Blask lit the tree at Celebration of Lights in its inaugural year in 2021. “Christmas in Little Falls is an awesome community event. Our city looks fantastic, the decorations across town are beyond great, and everyone is welcome to come experience the magic.”

Thank you to our Volunteers, new and returning- we greatly appreciate your enthusiasm, time, and effort, and we couldn’t do it without you.

And THANK YOU to the businesses, non-profits, and individuals for your generous donations that make the upkeep, replacement, and purchase of new lighting, music, and events.

A big shoutout to the Christmas in Little Falls Committee members who work tirelessly to make this event possible: Cathy Christman, Dave Dardzinski, Tony DeLuca, Katie Drake, Dean Gaylord, Laura Powers, and Caren Woolner!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my dad, Don Drake, and his barbershop quartet, Full Circle, will be wandering about Main Street singing Christmas tunes for your enjoyment on Saturday.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the bells will start
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.”