The arrival of St Nicolaas parading down Broadway in Schuylerville on his traditional white horse is a beloved part of that community's Festival of Trees.
Ann Watson’s house is known as “the Christmas house” during the holiday season.
“I love to decorate every room in my house with a tree in every room,” said the 57-year-old Malta artist.
Watson has a knack for creativity and enjoys working in the community, so it’s only fitting that she would put together the first festival of trees in her neighboring village of Round Lake.
“Everyone immediately said, ‘That’s a fantastic idea!’” said Watson.
Communities all over the Capital District are also getting in the act. Some organizations have found the festivals to be a profitable way to raise money while others are putting together the events as a way to bring the community together during the holiday season.
A well-known tree festival, The Saratoga City Center Festival of Trees, will hold its 17th annual event this year. It is a fundraiser for Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.
Sister Charla Commins, executive director of Catholic Charities, said the event has been very successful.
“I thought it was a wonderful idea to see if it would catch on in this community, and it certainly has,” she said.
Commins said thousands of people now attend the festival each year.
“The first year I budgeted to make $10,000, and we made $21,000, and it has only increased since then,” Commins said. “Certainly now it is a very big – almost a weeklong event that engages the entire community.”
Commins said the event also helps to kick off the Christmas season in Saratoga Springs and coincides with the city’s Victorian Streetwalk.
Hundreds of trees, wreaths and centerpieces are available for sale at the four-day event. The festival also features a breakfast with Santa, sundaes with Santa and a Santa workshop.
In Schenectady, decorated trees are displayed more as a way to bring the community together.