Granville: a winter wonderland

Granville: a winter wonderland
Photo courtesy of Rick Roberts. Veterans Park lit up at night.

Granville is very close to celebrating holiday cheer as its village streets, parks, bridges and light posts are being decorated with garland lights and more, transforming the village into a winter wonderland.

This year’s event, on Dec. 3, will feature the holiday parade and annual tree-lighting ceremony.

Kicking off the evening, a holiday parade will step off from the Great Meadow Federal Credit Union on East Main Street at 5:45 p.m.

Santa Claus, local law enforcement officials and firemen will process down Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park on Quaker Street, arriving at the park by 6 p.m.

Once at the park, at about 6 p.m., one of Santa’s Helpers will have the important responsibility of waving a magic wand to illuminate the park lights and start the music.

“I would say, in the park, there are between 50-55,000 lights,” said Rick Roberts, Granville village clerk and member of the holiday decorating committee.

The theme of this year’s tree lighting is “Frosty & Friends Visit Granville”, based upon the popular Christmastime cartoon/story “Frosty the Snowman.” Frosty and Karen will be in costume in the park during the lighting, and Santa will be on the bandstand.

The annual holiday celebration and tree-lighting will feature animated cut-outs that will be placed around the park to provide photo ops for families.

The highly anticipated lighting finale will be tuned to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “First Snow.”

“Children from the MJT School will be selected to help Santa and Frosty bring the park to life, and they will be asked to use their magic wands to make it snow in the park,” Roberts said.

Roberts said that lingering effects of the Covid-19 impact will take its toll on usual activities and practices at the tree lighting.

“While public attendance will be permitted in the park this year, the committee feels that we do need to try to manage certain aspects of the program to promote public safety and welfare.  One thing that we will be changing is the in-person visits with Santa. Because many of the children that would likely come to visit Santa are not of the age where they can be vaccinated yet, and they would have to stand in line, and sit in a common space (Santa’s lap), we just don’t feel like it will be possible to do the in-person visits with Santa this year,” Roberts said.

“We will still have activities in the park, food, refreshment giveaways, the distribution of hats/mittens/scarves/blankets, and/or giveaways by Great Meadows Federal Credit Union, in addition to the lighting itself. But we just don’t think that we can do in-person visits this year.  We just wanted to get this out there, so parents and children are not disappointed.”

Holiday decorations, lights and more in the park will dance along with the music.

“There is an ongoing drive for hats, mittens, scarves and blankets. The drop off locations are Glens Falls National Bank and TD Bank (Granville locations only), Great Meadows Federal Credit Union branches, and the Village Municipal Center,” Roberts said. “All donations will be distributed at the tree-lighting ceremony, and any remaining items will be donated to the Granville Area Food Pantry and Community Service. Those wishing to donate can see details on the Granville Chamber of Commerce page on Facebook.”

About 40 volunteers have spent the last several weeks untangling lights, hanging garland and setting up decorations around the village of Granville in preparation for the annual tree lighting that draws thousands of visitors from near and far.