HO, HO, HOmetown holiday celebration

Santa Claus is coming to Troy

By Janell R. Ward

Photo: Don’t miss the finale of the Troy Hometown Holiday parade, which will feature Santa on a fire truck

Get ready to hear sleigh bells and kick off your holiday shopping at this year’s annual Hometown Holiday Celebration event in Troy from 4-8:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. It will be a fantastic evening of hot chocolate, festive music, carriage rides and much more. The event will include a parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m., and the Grand Illumination of the Christmas tree at 7 p.m.

The Hometown Holiday event is a Troy tradition that started with decorations in the 1920s. But instead of a tree, 90 years ago, you would have seen varied pieces in the center square, such as a world globe or a Dutch windmill. Patrick Kennedy, a local Troy historian, gave more insight on the history.

“Early on, the decorations were different,” Kennedy said. “It wasn’t until the late ’60s that the tree became the consistent display every year. In the ’50s, they would have some kind of lighting, with Santa Claus visiting the town. You would have seen various things, such as a candy cane house and a gingerbread house. There were years that they had a nativity set and a star at the top of the flag pole representing the star over Bethlehem, as well.”

Local involvement has kept the tradition alive, with volunteers giving support every year. Andi Trzeciak, events coordinator for Troy Main Street, added, “This is a big tradition for people in Troy. We try to keep it relatively the same every year to have the traditional feel. It has always been done the day after Thanksgiving because it’s great to do Black Friday shopping before or after the event.” Even the tree is donated by a local Troy citizen. This year it was donated by Melissa Dick of Troy.

The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Hobart Center, located on 510 W. Water St. It will head down West Main Street and end at the square. Frosty the Snowman, gingerbread men and several other holiday heroes will make appearances during the parade. Horses and local groups will participate in the parade as well. “The end of the parade is a big deal because Santa will appear on a fire truck,” Trzeciak said. The parade will last about half an hour, but hold your sleighs, there is more to come!

If you want to get on Santa’s good list, make sure to sing nice and loud with this year’s live musical act, the Melody Men. They will be doing traditional numbers, such as “O Holy Night,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” and “Jingle Bells.” Their special feature number is entitled, “Christmas Chopsticks,” which blends verses from “The Night Before Christmas” with the melody of “Chopsticks.” You will also be able to hear Mayor Michael Beamish do his annual reading of “’Twas the Month Before Christmas” and kick off the countdown to the Grand Illumination.

If you get hungry and begin to have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, there will be several locally owned restaurants and shops open so you can grab warm refreshments. Don’t be a Scrooge – bring a little extra money for the enchanting horse and carriage ride, which will take you throughout Main Street, Market Street and around the square.

Need to get some shopping done? Most downtown merchants will be open late for you to enjoy Christmas shopping. Even your kids can shop for you at the Kris Kringle Market where local artists and craftors will sell festive, handmade gifts to the kids. “The locally made products are affordable for the kids at the Kris Kringle Market,” Trzeciak said. “We are proud to present this to people.” The Kris Kringle Market will be at The Rec, 11 N. Market St. It will be open from

4-8:30 p.m.

Do not forget to tell your kids that Santa is making a special visit to Troy! Santa will be available after the parade. He will come down off the fire truck, join Mayor Beamish on stage and then invite the kids to sit on his lap. Visiting Santa and taking photos are free. Downtown parking lots and street parking are free as well.

Hometown Holiday Celebration will take place from 4-8:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Hobart Center and end on W. Main St. The Grand Illumination will take place at 7 p.m. and the Kris Kringle Market will close at 8:30 p.m. The event is free, except for the optional carriage ride. For more information, please visit troymainstreet.org.

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