by Laura Powers

Little Falls is known to celebrate with festivals, and the holiday season is no exception. For over a decade, the City of Little Falls has helped make the holidays a bit brighter with an annual celebration held on the second Saturday in December. What began as Christmas on Main Street grew into Christmas in Little Falls. Last year, things went to a new level with the inaugural Celebration of Lights in Canal Place. Sterzinar Park was lit up in classic holiday style and even included a community tree lighting with a large crowd gathered to count it down!

This celebration has allowed folks to enjoy visits from Santa, horse & carriage rides, vendor fairs, live music, and much more. This special time has attracted both Little Falls residents and those from neighboring communities to our picturesque city for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Once again, the committee partners with the City, Youth & Family Center, and Think Local Little Falls to spread holiday cheer throughout historic downtown!

Mark your calendars and discover what is in store this year as Christmas in Little Falls Rocks the Holidays! Enjoy a WEEKEND of festive events, specials, and entertainment – Friday, December 9, Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11.

“What can we expect this year?” Now, to address this essential question…

FRIDAY 12/9: Celebration of Lights returns to Canal Place Friday evening beginning at 5 pm. Sterzinar Park transforms into a winter wonderland of lights with a tree lighting ceremony featuring Benton Hall Academy Principal Joe Long. There will be FREE horse-drawn wagon rides, outdoor musical entertainment, shopping, yummy eats, and more! You can stop by The Café at Stone Mill to sip on the English yuletide beverage, Wassail, and then head to Rock Valley Brewing for a Trivia Night into the later hours of the evening.

SATURDAY 12/10: The fun continues bright and early Saturday morning at the Little Falls Youth & Family Center with the Red Nose Reindeer 5K Run presented by Rock City Runners. There will also be visits & FREE professional photos (by Bob Crister of DSP Images) with Santa! While you are visiting with Santa, you can also meet the Grinch, who will be helping Pause 4 All Paws with their cookie sale & scavenger hunt.

Across the street, Chicks Along the Canal will host their ‘Merry Chicksmas Market’ at the Little Falls First Presbyterian Church, which includes talented local female entrepreneurs and is brought to you by the women behind the popular Chicks Along the Canal event.

Speaking of crafty, the Tuesday Night Knitters group is holding TWO yarn pop-ups to include items for sale and demos. You will find these pop-ups at Main Street Mercantile and the 586 E Main St building.

Little Falls Public Library hosts a reading of ‘Little Blue Truck Christmas, ’ which is perfect for younger children. Guests can also have their photo taken with our very own little blue truck decked out for the occasion. Also, Valley Cinemas invites you to wear your favorite pajamas for a Polar Express Experience at 5 pm (5:30 pm showtime) – FREE admission!

FREE horse-drawn wagon rides provide tours of historic downtown with pick-up & drop-off at the M&T Bank lot. The hilariously competitive Tipsy Server Race takes over Main St, the classic Soup Fest for charity throughout the city, and non-profit agency events. You can also stop by Ann Street Wine & Liquors to sip on some warm spiced wine while you stock up for your holiday event needs.

Live music & entertainment takes over the Elk’s Lodge #42, including the 6th-grade bell choir, 5th-grade All-County band, Emily Rozonkiewiecz’s piano students, LF Middle & High School band & vocal, and Edelweiss Schuplatters German Dancers. There will also be a barbershop quartet, Full Circle, and carolers wandering throughout downtown.

Additional morning activities include the superhero pancake breakfast at the American Legion, cookie decorating (sponsored by White Rose Bakery) with Reindeer Games by Connected Community Schools at the Community Center, the H.A.L.O. tree of love at CVS, and the Utica Zoomobile at LF Ace Hardware.

New this year is a FREE Movie Night at Rock City Centre presented by Creative Outpost. There will be Dance on Film screenings and a presentation by producer Hannah Straney.

The Elks Lodge #42 asks, “You serious, Clark?!” as they host their annual holiday party with a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation theme! Translation – dress as your favorite character from the movie! (If you remember their Schitt’s Creek Christmas Party from last year, you know this is not to be missed!)

There will also be open houses throughout the day at Paca Gardens, Designs by Shelly, and Showcase Antiques of CNY. The LF Historical Society offers an outdoor exhibit as well and is open by appointment.

SUNDAY 12/11: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church invites you to join them for their 2 pm holiday concert.

More throughout the weekend – Toy collections at Dollar General & Mangia Macrina’s, Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts holds an art sale with regional artists, Falls Diamond Co offers a diamond necklace raffle, and you can drop off Letters to Santa at Ed’s Pizza Place. You can also ‘Stuff Your Stockings’ at Style on Main with Niki Marie’s team giving candy to kids who bring in a stocking.

The entire city will be bustling with entertainment, activities, shopping and more throughout the day. Folks are encouraged to review the full schedule of events to plan their day, keeping in mind the numerous local businesses that will be open and running specials for your holiday enjoyment. Full details and times are available on the ‘Christmas in Little Falls Rocks the Holidays’ Facebook page. You may also contact the Youth & Family Center at 315-823-1740 or email

“How can I help?” Another great question…

First, thanks to everyone who has helped bring this event to Little Falls every year. Special thanks to those who contributed to fundraising last year to replace the lights along Main Street AND bring festive lighting to Canal Place! With so many highlights, there are several ways that you and/or your business can support this event! The committee aims to spread our Celebration of Lights throughout the City and hopes you will help Little Falls Rock the Holidays! As always, we welcome volunteers to make the day a success. And, of course, financial contributions are appreciated to help make this year’s festivities extraordinary. All donations are tax deductible.

This event is made possible by the Christmas in Little Falls committee, Little Falls Youth & Family Center, Think Local Little Falls, the City of Little Falls, and numerous financial supporters. This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

For Facebook users who get an error – click on this link to see the PDF. For the rest of the world, the brochure is below.