Hudson Holiday: 17th Annual Winter Walk

Dec 6, 2013

On Saturday, the Hudson Opera House plays host to the 17th annual Winter Walk, a signature event of the holiday season in the Catskills. It’s a night known for its quirky take on the holidays and for the diversity of entertainment provided.

The festive evening begins at 5 p.m. Saturday with the ringing of the carillon atop the First Presbyterian Church and the sound of a trumpet fanfare, along with the Santa Parade.  Gary Schiro is executive director of the Hudson Opera House. He says Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there and they'll hand out free gifts to children.

During Winter Walk,  Hudson’s mile-long commercial district along Warren Street transforms into a festive thoroughfare with twinkling lights, brightly decorated shops and horse-drawn wagons.  Opera House Board Member Ellen Thurston:  "People should arrive as early as they possibly can, because we do expect a big crowd, and parking can sometimes be challenging. There's a lot of parking in municipal lots and in the county lots and there are all kinds of things going on on the streets. Performances and live reindeer and this year we're also having live el pacas, and miniature horses, so it's kind of a menagerie here!"  On Saturdays and Sundays, parking in Hudson’s municipal lots is free.

Thurston adds there will be stilt walkers, African drummers,  hula hoopsters and ballroom dancers.  Schiro notes that a legion of other characters are also expected to be on hand.   "There's a little something for everyone here. There's musicians, there's carolers, there's performers out on the street, things happening in shop windows, there's all sorts of special activities in and out of the shops on Warren Street, and it's a lot of fun, all capped off with fireworks at 8 o'clock."

And although the evening fireworks display will  mark the “official” end of Winter Walk, many businesses—especially restaurants—stay open long after the event.

GETTING THERE  --> From New York City and Points South:

Take the Taconic Parkway, Columbia County Exit at Rte. 82 Ancram/Hudson. Take Rte. 82 north/west to Rte. 9 (2nd traffic light). Follow Rte. 9 North into the City of Hudson. At the first light in Hudson, take a left on Warren Street. HOH is between 3rd and 4th Streets at 327 Warren.

Or

Take the New York State Thruway, Exit 21 to Rte. 23. Cross the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Take left on Rte. 9G. Follow 3 miles into the City of Hudson. Take right on Warren St. (main thoroughfare). HOH is on the right, 327 Warren Street.

From Albany and Points North:

Follow Rte. 9 South through Kinderhook to Hudson, about 25 miles. Follow Rte. 9 into the City of Hudson. Take a right onto Warren Street. HOH is located on Warren Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets, at 327 Warren Street.

Or

Take the New York State Thruway, Exit 21, to Rte. 23. Cross the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Take left on Rte. 9G. Follow 3 miles into the City of Hudson. Take a right onto Warren Street (main thoroughfare). HOH is on the right, 327 Warren Street.

From Massachusetts and Points East

Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) onto the Berkshire Spur of the New York State Thruway (also Interstate 90). Continue west to the exit for the Taconic State Parkway.Take the Taconic State Parkway south to Columbia County Exit at Rte. 82 Ancram/Hudson. Take left from exit (Rte. 82) to 2nd traffic light to Rte. 9. Follow Rte. 9 North into the City of Hudson. At the first light in Hudson, take a left on Warren Street. HOH is between 3rd and 4th Streets at 327 Warren. 

Or

Take the Taconic State Parkway south to the Columbia County exit for Route 217, Philmont. Drive through Philmont on Route 217 to Claverack and Route 23. On the western side of Claverack follow signs for Route 23B into the City of Hudson. At the first light in Hudson, take a left on Warren Street. HOH is between 3rd and 4th Streets at 327 Warren.

By Train
Amtrak Hudson Station is only 4 blocks from the Hudson Opera House with cab service available.

Approximate Travel Times:
New York City: 2 Hours
Boston: 3 hours
Albany: 25 minutes

Winter Walk is produced and presented by the Hudson Opera House, a multi-arts center and major downtown anchor, housed in an 1855 building that was once City Hall.