THERE SEEMS A MAGIC
Plans Being Made for Return of Holiday in Hurleyville
by John Conway
HURLEYVILLE, November 2021— In a short story published in 1835 called “A Christmas Dinner,” Charles Dickens wrote that “there seems a magic in the very name of Christmas.” The holidays are a time, he noted, when differences are put aside in a spirit that “ought to last the whole year through.”
It is that same holiday spirit that has the residents and business owners from the hamlet meeting of late to plan a return of the popular “Holiday in Hurleyville” celebration after a one-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.
This year’s festivities are scheduled for Saturday, December 4, with some events continuing the following day, and even beyond.
As has been the case for the past several years, one of the highlights of the celebration will be the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas Tree and the Menorah in the Main Street garden, which will take place around 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4.
The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre will be hosting Santa Claus throughout the weekend, with appearances scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.
The HPAC Cinema will be showing the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ children’s movie, “Encanto,” the tale of the Madrigal family, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. Movie times for the weekend are 6 p.m. Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.
The Sullivan County Chamber Orchestra will also be playing at HPAC on Saturday, December 4, at 6 p.m.
The Sullivan County Historical Society will host a soft opening for its annual Theme Tree Exhibit at the County Museum (265 Main Street) on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then hold an official grand opening reception on Sunday, December 5.
Incoming SCHS president Suzanne Cecil says the Theme Tree Exhibit Open House on Sunday will include refreshments, and live music by Little Sparrow. It will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Museum. Ms. Cecil says any organization, business, or individual can decorate a tree, which should feature a theme that represents that organization or business. Trees can be set up at the Museum on November 26, 28, and 30 and December 4.
The traditional Holidays in Hurleyville History Hike will take place on the Milk Train Trail beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 4. This year, the fifth annual hike will head east, starting from the trail head just off the Main Street parking area. The hike will last about 90 minutes. More details about the History Hike can be found in a separate story in this month’s edition.
The Hurleyville General Store will host a book signing at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, with the Sullivan County Historian signing two of his books, “Muskrats, Milkmaids, and Mobsters: A Brief History of Hurleyvlle,” and “In Further Retrospect.”
On Sunday, December 5, the General Store will host “pictures with Krampus” at 4 p.m.
“Krampus was part of the original folklore involving Sinterklass,” Hurleyville General Store owner Denise Lomobardi explains. “During the winter solstice, the story was that this duo would go around either rewarding or punishing children depending on the circumstances. I wanted to do something new and unusual for the holidays this year that would be entertaining and this will be actually quite light-hearted.”
The event, promoted as “Krampusnacht 2021: Al Alternative Holiday Experience,” will run from 4 until 8 p.m. Sunday, and will include hors d’oeuvres and beverages, a charcuterie board featuring Casella’s Salumi, local and imported gourmet cheeses, kettle korn, soft home baked pretzels, potato pancakes, bratwurst, and sauerkraut. There will also be costume contest in addition to the selfies with Krampyus. More details are available by contacting the Hurleyvile General Store.
Other events, including dance performances at Main Street Dance, alpacas at Fiber on Main, and various pop-up stores, are being discussed.
Traditional Hurleyville holiday events like the “Deck the Doors” decorating contest conducted for more than 25 years now by the Hurleyville-Sullivan First group will take place as usual, with judging scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on December 16. HSF volunteers say this could be the biggest contest ever, and emphasize that there is no need to enter…all decorated houses are eligible, as are businesses, which this year will compete for a separate prize donated by Bold Gold Media.
The Center for Discovery’s annual Luminaria Winter Solstice celebration will be held on the Milk Train Trail beginning at dusk on December 21.
More on both of those events in next month’s edition.