The 5 S’s of Capital Region Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Electric City! How can we tell? Well, Schenectady and the rest of the Capital Region are gearing up for the holidays just like they do every year. Wondering how to celebrate like a local? Here are the five S’s of Capital Region Christmas.



The first week of December means only one thing in upstate New York: that it’s time to get your stroll on! On December 1, Saratoga’s popular Victorian Streetwalk returns to Broadway, featuring a tree lighting, musical performance by American Idol alum Madison VanDenberg and appearance from Santa Claus. The festivities continue throughout Sunday with open houses, live music and other family friendly activities going on all weekend long. Also on Sunday, December 4, Troy will be celebrating its own Victorian Stroll from 11am-5pm. Witness festive Victorian regalia, live entertainment and more at the 40th annual festival.



While there’ll be plenty of carolers caroling at both of the aforementioned Victorian spectacles, Capital Regionites can get a healthy dose of Christmas carol cheer at the CBS 6 Melodies of Christmas, which will return to Proctors after a two-year hiatus from December 15-18. The ESYO Symphony Orchestra will perform alongside the Melodies Chorale, with proceeds from the event benefitting the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders at Albany Med.



No one does a holiday lights show like the Capital Region. But while Capital Holiday Lights won’t return to Washington Park this year (there’s a virtual experience you can check out online and the in-person show will return next year at the Altamont Fairgrounds), the Washington County Fairgrounds will pick up the slack with Holiday Lighted Nights, two miles of large-scale light displays featuring North Pole scenes and lighted tractors.



Yes, smashing. We’re talking about the Peppermint Pig, a Saratoga Springs tradition that dates back to the 1800s. Literally a pig made out of peppermint, the Peppermint Pig comes in a velvet bag with a hammer; to eat the sweet treat you have to smash it into little pieces. Today, you can get the sought-after holiday dessert at Saratoga Candy Co. as well as other shops around Saratoga and the Capital Region.



And lastly, what’s a holiday season without a little retail therapy? This area offers plenty of holiday craft and vendor fairs all through the month of December. One of the longest running fairs is the Shaker Holiday Market, which features handmade pottery, jewelry, fiber, artisan foods and more. Stop by the Shaker Heritage Society in Albany Tuesdays-Sundays from 10am-4pm through December 18.