The holidays are here and with them come all the magical and fun community celebrations throughout the Hudson Valley. Some have parades, festival, carol singing, and Santa appearances as well. This certainly isn't a complete list, but it will get you started. If you know of any that I don't mention here, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them.

Dutchess County:

Friday, December 4:   Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks at 6:30 in the City of Poughkeepsie with marching musicians, giant puppets, classic cars, motorcycles, and Santa Claus on a fire engine. The parade starts on Main & Garden Streets with the first Christmas tree lighting on Main, near Market St. The parade then heads down Main to Clover St., towards Dongan Square Park for the second tree lighting, and the third tree will be lit in the center of the Walkway over the Hudson. At 7:15, Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Legion Fireworks present a winter fireworks display along the waterfront.

Friday, December 4: “Parade of Lights” with Santa & Millbrook Tree Lighting. The tree lighting ceremony will be at the bottom of Franklin Ave. 6-6:30 pm. Enjoy a family hayride through the Village ending at the Firehouse where Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet the children. Refreshments available courtesy of the Auxiliary of the Fire Company.

Friday, December 4 : Decemberfest Tree Lighting in Pawling Tree Lighting at 6pm. Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive in style with their reindeer to light the tree. Enjoy choral music, hot chocolate and cookies.

Saturday, December 5: Festival of Lights parade and Tree Lighting in Pleasant Valley. Celebrate the season and welcome Santa to town. The parade starts at the Mill Site with the tree lighting along with elves and caroling, then proceeding down Route 44
to Town Hall where there will be Christmas stories, cookies, and Santa’s arrival.

Saturday, December 5Sinterklaas Festival Day in Rhinebeck will bring over 250 musicians, actors, magicians and other magical performers to town to ring in the holiday season. A day-long, colorful celebration of dance, theatre and music all through the village. Children will become kings and queens for the day.

Saturday, December 5: Town of Lagrange Tree Lighting. Gather at the town hall starting at 4:15 for carols, hot chocolate and cookies. Santa will arrive via firetruck in time to light the tree.

Saturday, December 5: Christmas Tree Lighting at Schlathaus Park, corner of Myers Corners & All Angels Hill Rds. in Wappingers Falls starting at 5. Join in the festivities with Christmas carols and gifts for the kids, and cheer as Santa Claus arrives on a fire truck.

Saturday, December 5: Holiday of Lights Parade at the Stanford Town Hall. Parade of lighted floats and vehicles; lighting of the town’s holiday tree. Visits with Santa and gifts for kids at the party afterwards at the firehouse. It all begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 5: Festival of Lights at Tymor Park in the Town of Union Vale (Lagrange). Brighten this holiday season as the town once again flips the switch to nearly 150,000 LED lights at 6:30 pm. The lights are on daily from 4-10 pm all season, so come and see this spectacular display. In addition, you can have dinner with Santa from 3:30 to 6:15 featuring a kid friendly buffet, but reservations are needed.

Sunday, December 6: Village of Fishkill Holiday Party and Tree lighting at VanWyck Hall at 1095 Main Street in the Village of Fishkill. The festivities begin at 2:30 with the Two by Two Petting Zoo, holiday crafts for the children inside the Village Hall, letter writing to Santa, and refreshments. Santa will arrive, so be sure to get your pictures with Santa, followed by the official village tree lighting by Mayor Jim Miccio at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, December 6: Hyde Park Recreation in conjunction with the Lions Club and Hyde Park PBA present Hyde Park’s annual Candlelight Walk and Christmas Tree Lighting at 4:45. The Candlelight walk starts at the back of the Methodist Church on RT. 9 and head towards the Town Hall. Carols will be sung, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas”, the tree will be lit and then Santa arrives.

Sunday, December 6: Christmas Tree Lighting at East Fishkill Community Ctr. in Hopewell Junction at 5 pm, sponsored by the Rotary Club.

Sunday, December 6: Red Hook WinterFest and Tree Lighting at the municipal lot, across from the Village Building. 4-5:30.

Saturday, December 12:  City of Beacon + BeaconArts Annual Bicycle Tree Lighting, coinciding with Beacon’s monthly Second Saturday celebration. The festivities will take place in the pocket park at the intersection of Route 9D and Main Streets, directly adjacent to the Beacon Visitor Center. The Wee Play Community Project will have a simple craft for younger children at 3:30. Before Santa’s arrival, the Beacon Music Factory and the Center for Creative Education will  add to the celebration with music and dance. Santa arrives via pedi-cab provided by People’s Bicycle to officially welcome the spirit of the holidays to Beacon at 4: 45 pm.

Saturday, December 12:“Winterfest” at Tivoli from 3-5 at Tivoli Commons. Music and entertainment, with crafts & activities for kids. Tree lighting ceremony to follow.

Electric Christmas tree

Ulster County:

Saturday, December 5:  High Falls-Marbletown Holiday Tree Lighting from 5:30 to 7 at the corner of Route 213 and Second Street in High Falls. Gather at the tall evergreen tree in the center of town, adjacent to the Depuy Canal House for a free family holiday event. This year, the tree will have almost 2800 new lights.

Saturday, December 5: The Wawarsing Wassail on Canal St. in Ellenville starting at 5 pm. Don't miss the  Electric Fire Truck Parade down Canal Street to the Village Tree Lighting and festivities. Liberty Square. There will be food vendors, caroling, The Ellenville High School Chamber Singers, a bon fire, Santa and his cast of characters.

Sunday, December 6: Saugerties Holiday in the Village. Enjoy the Holiday Market, music, free horse & carriage rides, kids’ crafts, and more at Market, Main & Partition Streets from noon-6 pm. Visit Santa and enjoy the petting zoo in the front yard at the Kiersted House on Main St. in Saugerties. Don't miss the Firemen’s Parade of Lights to Seamon Park followed by the village tree lighting.

Friday, December 11: Light up the Hamlet from 6-8:30 pm in Highland. Santa will arrive followed by the tree lighting.

Christmas Tree Lights

Orange County:

Now thru Dec 27: Fri-Sat-Sun. Holiday Lights in Bloom at the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery. The Arboretum will be in “full bloom” with beautiful, garden themed light features in the forms of flowers, animals and insects, and the 9/11 Memorial Garden will be decorated in patriotic splendor. This year, Lights in Bloom will be expanded to include an Asian Garden complete with peonies, a cherry blossom tree, a peacock and more.

Now thru Dec 23: Wed, Fri-Sat-Sun. Christmas on the Farm Trail with Eggbert, Devitts Nursery and Supply, New Windsor. Bring the family to visit Eggbert The Talking Egg.

Thursday, December 3Village of Walden Recreation & Parks Department Presents: Christmas in the Square, Featuring Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting starting at 6 pm in Municipal Square-Village of Walden. Enjoy the Live Nativity, carols, and Santa's arrival, followed by the tree lighting.

Friday, December 4: Holiday Tree Lighting, The Magic of Christmas from 6:30 to 7:30 at Chadwick Lake in Newburgh. Bring the whole family. Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and a bonfire. The Yule Tide Carolers and Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive to light the tree.

Friday, December 4: Tree Lighting in Washingtonville at Brotherhood Winery from 7-9.

Saturday, December 5: Tractor Parade and Tree Lighting in Pine Bush from 2:30-4:30. Tractor Parade, Memorial Ride and Tribute to Sergeant Eric Meier will be held in conjunction with the Tree Lighting Event. All tractors welcome. Line up at 1pm on Railroad Avenue (Hard on Horsepower). Parade begins 2:30 pm.

Saturday, December 5: Goshen Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Village square starting at 4:15.

Saturday, December 5: The Town of Wawayanda 15th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5-7 at the Senior Center in Shannen Park.

Saturday, December 5: Washingtonville Christmas parade and Tree lighting ceremony from 6 -7. See dozens of decorated fire trucks and ambulances and more in this vehicle-only parade. Santa will lead the Tree Lighting Ceremony immediately following the parade in the Village Square. Event held rain, show or shine.

Sunday, December 6: Greenwood Lake Tree Lighting Ceremony. Pictures with Santa 2 pm at Church of the Good Shepherd, Waterstone Road,Greenwood Lake. Tree Lighting Ceremony 5:30 pm at Waterstone Road between Ambulance Building and Church of Good Sheperd, Greenwood Lake.

Saturday, December 12: 12:30-5 pm. Sugar Loaf Holiday Celebration. This Sugar Loaf tradition includes carolers, horse and wagon rides with Santa and refreshments. All followed by the tree lighting at 4:45.

Saturday, December 12: 11 am-8 pm Village of Montgomery Old Fashioned Holiday. This is an annual holiday event. Attractions include: bandstand music, Santa’s arrival, baked goods and beverages, Village carolers, holiday shopping and dining, horse and carriage rides, children’s activities.