By Bob Goepfert
CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. — For leisure, Thanksgiving Day is the official begin of the Christmas vacation season.
Nevertheless, with COVID nonetheless being an affect, issues are completely different this yr. For one factor, most venues have insurance policies that demand you present both proof of vaccination or a current unfavourable COVID check for entry. Additionally, at many locations you must put on a masks inside.
Sadly, one loss is Melodies of Christmas at Proctors. Previously the WRGB- sponsored occasion hosted a number of performances yearly. It’s been a beloved vacation custom for 40 years and can be missed by many.
As compensation, the Empire State Youth Orchestra, normally a mainstay of Melodies together with its jazz orchestra, supply its personal vacation spectacular “Sleigh Journey.” It’s at Proctors on Dec. 19.
Another occasions will nonetheless occur, however in a brand new format. Within the case of Troy’s Victorian Stroll and Saratoga Springs’ Victorian Streetwalk they’re not in the future occasions. Beforehand, you would costume in classic garments and luxuriate in a number of dozen occasions scattered all through the town.
Troy is now having a “Stroll Season” and welcoming folks downtown all through the whole procuring season. They are going to have pop-up occasions on Dec. 5, 11 and 18.
Saratoga is lengthening their Stroll to a weekend Dec. 2-5. It, too, is a much less structured occasion, with leisure offered extra randomly than previously. The adjustments are commercially oriented relatively than COVID associated.
Capital Vacation Lights within the Park remains to be at Washington Park in Albany this yr. As a result of its recognition has been the reason for automobile congestion and different minor issues in downtown it has to maneuver to a different location subsequent yr. Reserved time intervals can be in impact this yr, together with different minor rules being imposed. Test their web site earlier than heading out. It closes Jan. 2, and as of but, no new website has been introduced for the longer term.
There are adjustments for Santa’s Magical Categorical, as effectively. The occasion which is celebrating its tenth season is, this yr, is a cut up occasion. There’s 45-minute present at its Rennselaer facility and everybody boards a 45-minute bus quest to avoid wasting Christmas by recovering Santa’s magical hat which was stolen by Jack Frost.
This yr it has the identical forged of characters corresponding to Mrs. Claus, Winky, Ebenezer Scrooge, Frosty and, in fact, Santa and his elves. There are a number of exhibits a day Thursdays-Sundays by way of Dec. 23.
Indoor venues nonetheless are taking place. One in every of my favourite’s the Vacation Greens Present on the Hart-Cluett Museum on 2nd Road downtown in Troy. Lots of the freshly made wreaths are on the market. It options 12 rooms adorned in Victorian splendor inside a Gilded Age townhouse. It runs December 2-5.
In Albany you get the same expertise on the Ten Broeck Mansion. They’re providing timed excursions on Saturdays and Sundays. The historic mansion has been uniquely adorned inside and outside for the vacations. Tickets have to be bought upfront.
One other deal with is the Albany Professional Musica’s annual vacation present on the Troy Music Corridor. This yr it’s titled “The Many Moods of Christmas.” It’s all the time a particular afternoon.
The Albany Symphony Orchestra is doing its share to convey vacation cheer to the group. On Dec. 5 it presents its annual household present “The Magic of Christmas” and new this yr on December 11, they’re providing a musical salute to “The Nutcracker.”
Talking of “Nutcrackers,” the family-friendly ballet is plentiful this season. The Egg in Albany affords a number of. Albany Berkshire Ballet affords 3 productions on the weekend of December 11-12. Saratoga Metropolis Ballet presents two on December 18. Proctors in Schenectady has its annual presentation of Northeast Ballet’s “Nutcracker” Dec. 22-23.
Proctors can be presenting “It’s a Jazzy Christmas” which options the world’s finest jazz musicians performing the music of Vince Guaraldi, who turned well-known for composing the music of the Peanuts vacation specials. As a bonus, the next day it performs at Common Preservation Corridor in Saratoga, Dec. 18.
There’s a contact of Eire within the space this Christmas. “Lunasa: A Christmas From Eire” is at Proctors on Dec. 4. “Cherish the Girls’ Celtic Christmas” is at Troy Music Corridor on Dec. 7 and “The McKrell’s Vacation Live performance” is on the Egg on Dec. 18. McKrell can be providing the live performance “A Saratoga Christmas” for Residence Made Theater in Saratoga on Dec. 15.
Lacking this season is Ebenezer Scrooge, as no main theater firm is providing a manufacturing of “A Christmas Carol.” Certainly, the one vacation themed play is at Russell Sage Faculty in Troy. They’re staging a manufacturing of “It’s a Great Life” as if it had been a radio play. It’s provided Dec. 3-5.
It’s going to be an lively vacation season. You’ll want to examine all venues for COVID protocol earlier than going. And, be affected person with any inconveniences. You may be each jolly and protected whereas having fun with the vacation.