As a city that dates back to before the Revolutionary War, Saratoga Springs has no shortage of traditions, but as YNN's Matt Hunter reports, only one of them involves shutting down Broadway for an entire night.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Christmas carolers decked out in 19th century attire, walking up and down the middle of Broadway, can only mean one thing in Saratoga Springs: It's the annual Victorian Street Walk.
Back for its 26th year, the event attracts upwards of 20,000 people and celebrates the city's rich history while officially kicking off the holiday season.
"It definitely jump starts the holiday cheer and gets you going," said Brian Bayly, a member of the Northeast Ballet who attended the Street Walk in full Victorian era garb.
"I think this could be our best year ever,” Saratoga Downtown Business Association President Jeff Clark said. “We've got lots of venues, lots of musicians, lots of singers and carolers and everybody is geared up to have a great time."
The annual gathering offers plenty of activities packed with holiday cheer to keep the whole family satisfied, however, there's rarely any upstaging the arrival of Santa himself. With Ol' Saint Nick entertaining an audience, what better opportunity to put in a few gift requests?
"It's like a mini car that's like a kid sized, that's what I want the most," said Finn, an eight-year-old form Saratoga County.
"I'm going to ask him for a puppy, an iPod, a basketball and a basketball hoop," said nine-year-old Kestrel, who waited to see Santa with her twin sister, Miakoda.
Others in the vast crowd were in more of a gift "giving" mood than "receiving."
"It's always fun,” said Adrian Fordrung, who, along with friends, dressed up in Victorian style clothing and handed out more than 70 dozen cookies. “We always do the cookies every year for everyone, so it's always to come in here, bake a whole bunch of cookies and hand them out."
Regardless of how you spent the night, most seem to agree the Street Walk has grown into a can't miss part of Saratoga’s tradition-rich holiday season.
"I came last year and had a lot of fun and I'm having a lot of fun this year too," nine-year-old Allie said.