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Good tidings on the way

Holiday events planned for Olympic Region

Skaters enjoy the 2018 Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll skating party on the 1932 Rink of the Olympic Center’s Jack Shea Arena. (News photo — Griffin Kelly)

LAKE PLACID — There are several events in the Olympic Region planned to get residents and visitors in the holiday mood this December, a year after enduring the first Christmas season amid the coronavirus pandemic when public gatherings were changed for safety.

St. Agnes School

It all begins with the annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Agnes School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 — held outdoors for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 crisis. There will be a bake sale; toy table; gingerbread house contest; silent auction; craft vendors; sale of trees, wreaths and poinsettas; and a visit from Santa Claus.

It will be an “outdoor European-style” craft fair in the school’s parking lot. To keep visitors warm, there will be a fire pit and free hot cocoa.

The gingerbread house contest — open to the public — will be a highlight for the second year. The houses will be displayed outside during the Christmas Bazaar. Submissions may be dropped off to the school at 2322 Saranac Ave. After-hours submissions may be placed inside the unlocked portion of the school foyer.

Entries will be posted on the St. Agnes Facebook page at 10 .m. Dec. 4, and the winners will be determined by the number of “likes” received by 1:30 p.m. Prizes will be given out for the following categories: under 18 best theme; under 18 most creative of materials; under 18 popular vote; over 18 popular vote; and honorable mention.

Wilmington celebration

The town of Wilmington is hosting the 14th annual Community Christmas Celebration on Friday, Dec. 10. It will include a Santa’s Gift Parade where Santa Claus and a number of “elves” in cars and trucks deliver toys to children around town. Anyone who wants to decorate a vehicle and be part of the parade should call the supervisor’s office at 518-946-7179. The parade ends at the Preston Festival Field on Springfield Road, and that’s where a fireworks display will be set off shortly after 7 p.m.

Wilmington’s Christmas celebration with fireworks has traditionally been held at the Santa’s Workshop theme park, but it was changed to a Santa’s Gift Parade and fireworks at the Preston Festival Field last year.

“With COVID, we switched it up and held it in the village,” town Supervisor Roy Holzer said Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The town has been in the Christmas business since Santa’s Workshop opened in 1949, and the community is already decorated for the holiday season.

“We certainly roll out the red carpet,” Holzer said. “The town’s all decked out.”

The fireworks display is free and open to the public. There will be hot cocoa and Christmas music playing at the festival field during the event.

Holiday Village Stroll

The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll will be held from Friday, Dec. 10 to Sunday, Dec. 12, starting with a family skating party from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Olympic Center’s newly refurbished 1932 Rink in the Jack Shea Arena. Skate rentals will be available on site, and Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance. And the Ugly Sweater Party will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. that night at The Cottage restaurant.

On Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m., Adirondack Health will hold the annual 2.5-mile Jingle Bell Run/Walk around Mirror Lake in-person, after being a virtual event last year due to the pandemic. Online registration through active.com will be accepted before the event for $20. Same-day registration, at a cost of $25, will be held from 7 to 8 a.m. inside the beach house on Parkside Drive. Children 12 and under are free and do not need to preregister. Everyone is encouraged to bring a new/unwrapped toy on race day to benefit Essex County WIC families and to wear holiday costumes. Pets are not allowed to tag along with runners/walkers.

Also on Saturday, a TikTok Dance Class begins at 10 a.m. at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, 17 Algonquin Dr.; the Grinch will be at the Little Blue House, 2501 Main St., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Storytime will start at 11 a.m. at St. Eustace Episcopal Church, 2450 Main St.; Santa will be at Mid’s Park at noon; a Maker’s Market to benefit the North Elba Community Christmas Fund will open from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Alpine Mall on Main Street; and the tree-lighting celebration at Mid’s Park will start at 5 p.m. Later in the evening Double Axel will perform at The Lake House from 5 to 8 p.m.; and the “adrenaline-soaked live music and tap dance” group Rhythmic Circus will present the Holiday Shuffle at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

On Sunday, the “Polar Express” movie will be shown at 11 a.m. at the Palace Theatre. And for the second year in a row, Santa’s fire truck parade around the village — instead of just Main Street — starts at 4 p.m. It will take about 90 minutes to visit all the neighborhoods in the community.

A scavenger hunt will take place throughout the weekend for three age groups: 13 and under; 14 to 20; and 21 and older. Forms are available at hotels, the Lake Placid Visitor Center or the Holiday Village Stroll website. There will be a drop box at Mid’s Park for completed forms, or they can be delivered to the visitor center.

Plus, to-go craft kits for families are available at local hotels or at the visitor center throughout the weekend.

For more information about the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll, visit holidayvillagestroll.com.