Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas in Essex, Where Santa Arrives By Ferry

TaylorHaskins_newThere are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.

Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.

“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so we have the traditional activities people look forward to, like the Reindeer Run and Pancake Breakfast, but we added some things that are brand new. This is the first year that I’ve been an organizer,” says Hughes. “My other Co-Organizer is Susie Smith.”

Hughes and Smith added a children’s scavenger hunt to this year’s roster. All participating children can pick up a card at either read the clue for themselves or ask for assistance. The clues will lead them to various shops where they will receive a stamp/sticker. Upon collecting 10 out of 13 clues, the children can give the scavenger card to Santa at the tree lighting for a gift.

“We felt it was important to bring back the tradition of Santa’s arrival by ferry,” says Hughes. “The local shops will be open and there will also be between 15-20 vendors from around Vermont and New York at the Yoga Studio and Town Hall in addition to the other activities. ”

The next day offers one special event that can make your toes tap and taste buds sing. Grammy award winner Taylor Haskins and his quartet are set to play at the Dogwood Bakery Company in Wadhams on December 14 at 7 pm. The Taylor Haskins Quartet will treat us all to a mixture from their most recent CD “Fuzzy Logic” as well as some holiday standards. Dogwood Bread Company Owner Keri Fair will be preparing a locavore’s feast with fresh bread, bread pudding, vegetarian poutine and other goodies (meal subject to what is available locally.)

The $12 tickets, which include food, are going fast. My son, also a trumpeter, joined me recently for a similar event and was mesmerized by the Dogwood’s delicious food and the range of notes Taylor Haskins could pull out of his trumpet.

The Lake Placid Holiday Stroll has a plethora of events from ice-skating, craft making, book signing to free holiday films and restaurant tastings. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas will put you in the Christmas mood with wagon rides, cupcake decorating, crafts along with tree lighting and caroling. There is something for even the most hardhearted Scrooge to enjoy!

Photo of Taylor Haskins at Dogwood Bakery Company used with the permission of Diane Chase,






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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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