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Victorian Strolls Set For Troy, Saratoga Springs

For three decades, two upstate cities have celebrated the beginning of the holiday season in Victorian style.

Credit City of Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs 2017 Victorian Street Walk outside City Hall.

Downtown Saratoga Springs kicks off the holiday season tonight with the 32nd annual Victorian Street Walk Check out the schedule.

Tonya Pellegrini is Director of Marketing and promotions for the Downtown Saratoga Springs Business Association.   "It's always the first Thursday after Thanksgiving, with that Victorian setting that Saratoga was known for and has for years — that's kind of where the idea of a Victorian street walk was conceptualized and birthed from 32 years ago."

Broadway will close to traffic from 5 to 10 from the Route 50 arterial to the Spring Street intersection.  "There's no parking on Broadway, since we shut down the street. Victorian Streetwalk-goers are open to all of Broadway. There's plenty of parking on the outskirts of town. We do have CDTA buses. They run from various areas in Saratoga, dropping off in downtown Saratoga. That is a courtesy shuttle, they run every 15 minutes. We do encourage people to leave their pets at home."

  • CDTA is running free shuttle buses every 20 minutes from the Empire State College parking lot at 111 West Avenue on Saratoga Springs’ west side, Silver Sponsor NYRA’s Oklahoma track just off Exit 14 of I-87, Gate 21 on the corner of East Ave and Union Ave, and the Weibel Avenue Skating Rink parking lots on the east side of Saratoga Springs, and from the National Museum of Dance, 99 S Broadway to downtown from 4:30 until 10:00.

Pellegrini adds all of Broadway will be blanketed in "Victorian holiday magic" including a tree-lighting ceremony along with a visit from Santa Claus.  Here is a printable MAP & ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE.

Credit City of Troy
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden (far right) downtown at the 2017 Victorian Stroll.

Coming up on Sunday, the city of Troy hosts the 36th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll, billed as the Northeast’s largest free holiday festival.  Check out the list of events.

Mayor Patrick Madden says the signature event draws thousands to the city.  "There's music, art, shopping, history — the shops are open, the cultural attractions are open. It's a great showcase for the city. And it's a good time. Some people get dressed up. They make me get dressed up as mayor, and that's all right. People enjoy that."

Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Kate Manley says the stroll serves as a great introduction to visitors and tourists.   "It's a really great opportunity to kick off your holiday season. You can shop, dine and enjoy the best of what Troy has to offer and see what the bulk of our city is about. The stroll comes out of the historical society's Greens show, which is in its 62nd year.”

Manley says the theme of this year's Holiday Greens Show is "Childhood Holiday Memories." The show runs noon to 5 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday in the Rensselaer County Historical Society's downtown Troy headquarters at 57 Second Street.   "12 rooms of the Hart-Cluett federal style house are transformed into a magical spectacle and they're really decorated from top to bottom with live greens by the Van Rensselaer Garden Club, so that is where the stroll came out of. We're expecting about 30,000 people in downtown Troy, and there's something for everyone."

Manley and Madden say the stroll will feature more than 100 different activities along with live performances throughout the day. The Victorian Stroll runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Directions to the event are here.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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