Little Falls, NY – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… in Little Falls! The City of Little Falls invites you to save the date for December 8th to enjoy a full day of festive events, specials, and entertainment. The fun begins bright and early with registration for the annual Red Nose Reindeer Run at 8am at the Little Falls Family YMCA, with a shot-gun start provided by Santa Claus himself at 9am as he arrives on a shiny red firetruck, and wraps up in front of Ed & Bud’s on Main Street. This 5k Fun Run is a deal at only $20 per adult, and children under age 12 free. Prizes are awarded, and registration is available online, via mail, or in-person at the event. Runners are encouraged to wear festive costumes for a chance to win the coveted Best Costume award!
The Little Falls Fire Department will then escort the holiday celebrity to the Fire Station/City Hall so that Santa may begin visiting with the children from about 9-10:30am. Guests are encouraged to bring their camera to capture this special moment. For many families, the nostalgic visit with Santa is an annual tradition not to be missed!
Santa will also visit a very festive Canal Place from 11am-3pm. Folks are welcomed to join a community sing-along at Ole Sal’s from 2-4pm. Additionally, a chainsaw carver will demonstrate his talents outside Showcase Antiques from 11am-3pm.
There will be several “sweet” children’s activities happening throughout the day, including cookie decorating and crafts from 9-10:30am in the Community Center with the help of White Rose Bakery. White Rose has donated the cookies for this event for the past 11 years since Christmas in Little Falls started! On West Main, Italian Feast will hold a Kid’s Sweet Treat Decorating event from 9:30am-1pm for ages 12 and under. Kids are also invited to decorate their own pancakes at the American Legion from $3 from 10am-11:30am. The Shop on East Main Street will host a puppet show from 11:30am-1pm, and Valley Cinema will offer a showing of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ for only $3 at 5pm. The Utica Zoo Mobile will be on West Main at Ace Hardware from 11am-1pm, and letters to Santa may be dropped off at Ed’s Pizza from 11am-11pm as well!
Last year, Christmas in Little Falls welcomed “the Moose” who wandered the city streets. The social media game “The Moose is Loose!” returns this year. This all-ages game spanning downtown Little Falls requires nothing more than your willingness to find the Moose, snap a photo with the funny creature, and post it to Facebook with certain hashtags. More details are available on the ‘Christmas in Little Falls’ Facebook page.
Travelodge will be bustling with activity with an indoor Holiday Craft Fair set up in their spacious and convenient banquet room from 9am-3pm. There will be plenty of products available, most coming from a 25-mile radius. A goal of this market is to provide information to customers and help strengthen the bonds between the local merchant and consumer. The craft fair will showcase a wide range of artistic talent in one convenient location for holiday shoppers. There will also be two brand new craft fairs that start at 10am at Emanuel Episcopal Church on Albany Street and at the Fitness Farmacy on West Main Street.
The Little Falls Elks Lodge will host live music throughout the day, beginning 9:30-10:30am with the Little Falls student choirs, bands and piano students of the LF Central School District. Then at 4pm, local bands take the stage with Old Boys Network, followed by Jukebox at 7pm. The lodge will be festive and open to visitors throughout the day and all are welcome!
The Shop switches things up at 5pm, as LiFT (Little Falls Theater) takes the stage to perform a live reading of their Brass Lantern holiday episode. This is part of their multi-episode podcast wherein A.G. Devitt’s original work is brought to life in an old-time radio drama format. Director and Producer, Matt Powers, explains that this performance is geared toward an audience of teens and older. Helen Isom and Al Chase will play live music following LiFT’s performance, and then from 7-9pm, local artist and jazz musician, Oscar Stivala, returns with his jam session. Oscar Stivala and Friends will lead this jam concert and then open it up for all skill levels to participate.
Chris VanMeter, Christmas in Little Falls committee member, reminds us, “Little Falls prides itself on providing events that are accessible to all ages and all budgets. Christmas in Little Falls offers numerous free activities throughout the day thanks to the donations made by the generosity of many businesses, residents, organizations and volunteers.” A featured free activity that draws a crowd each year is the Horse and Carriage Rides which provide tours of historic downtown. Folks will have the chance to depart from the Historical Society Museum on Ann Street beginning at 11am and running until 1pm. The Historical Society will remain open for visitors from 9am-4pm.
In the theme of ‘giving to others,’ the annual Bartenders Race hits East Main Street at 11am. Folks are welcomed to cheer on their favorite wait-staff as they race for charity trying not to spill their trays laden with drinks! Many organizations have benefited from this hilarious competition including the Outsiders Club LF YMCA, Albany NICU, the Elks, American Diabetes Association, and Main Street First to name a few. Pledge forms are available on the Christmas in Little Falls website.
Another charity-focused event challenges taste buds rather than racing skills. The popular Soup Fest along Main Street from 1-3pm. For a small fee, you can taste all the delicious soups and stews by the best chefs from Little Falls and all proceeds benefit local charities. Charities that have benefited from this tasty fundraiser include the Linus Blanket Project, the LF Family YMCA, the LF Historical Society, and the Herkimer County Humane Society.
The spirit of giving will also be demonstrated by St. Paul’s Church holding a hat and mitten giveaway from 12-2pm, and there will be a toy collection at Dollar General all day long.
VanMeter explains, “Christmas in Little Falls is a day where there is so much to do that you simply can’t do it all… and that’s a good thing! We want people to enjoy their favorite activities and be able to explore new and different ones each year. I suggest you grab an event guide at a local business, or go online, before December 8th so you can plan your day.”
According to the event guide, this event is made possible by the City of Little Falls, the Little Falls Family YMCA, the Think Local Committee and several major benefactors. These benefactors along with other participating businesses and organizations can be found on the Christmas in Little Falls website. 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. Additional updates are available on the ‘Christmas in Little Falls’ Facebook page. Event Chair also invites the public to contact her directly with questions at 315-823-9200.