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Make Saratoga County Your Holiday Season Destination for 2021: Festivals, Traditions & More

'Tis the season for holiday fun and excitement in Saratoga County. Head out with the family and enjoy some of the region's best events and traditional holiday activities.

Kick-Start Your Holiday Gift Shopping Spree

big holiday market
The Holiday Craft Marketplace in Saratoga Springs

Although you may feel ready to relax after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, you also don’t want to leave your holiday gift shopping to the last minute. Take advantage of the holiday season’s best deals on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

On Black Friday, November 26, 2021, shops in downtown Saratoga and around the region will open their doors bright and early and offer incredible savings on products and potential holiday gifts.

If you’re looking for even more deals after Black Friday, then consider making the most of Small Business Saturday, November 27, 2021. This shopping holiday is a celebration of local and small businesses. Visit Saratoga County stores and boutiques for great discounts, or browse tons of vendors in one place at the Holiday Craft Marketplace.

Illuminate Your Night at Tree Lightings & Holiday Celebrations

victorian streetwalk

No matter where you go in Saratoga County, you can find holiday celebrations and family-friendly festivities. Mark your calendar for these upcoming events!

Victorian Streetwalk Weekend

In 2020, the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association transformed the annual Victorian Streetwalk into the Victorian Streetscapes. The event featured beautiful Christmas trees and decor located throughout downtown Saratoga for the entire holiday season, and it encouraged visitors to explore the community and support small businesses.

For 2021, the popular event will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a Victorian Streetwalk Weekend on December 2 - 5. Join the community for a tree lighting ceremony and a full schedule of activities and entertainment in downtown Saratoga.

Wilton Tree Lighting

Editor's Note (10/27/2021): Details for the 2021 Wilton Tree Lighting have not been announced yet, but you can read about what the event typically includes below.

Join the Town of Wilton as they host their annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Gavin Park. Enjoy the tree lighting, hot cocoa and refreshments, holiday music, and visit from Santa Claus.

Holiday Lights Spectacular at Quick Response

For 2021, Quick Response in Round Lake has announced that they will host a Holiday Lights Spectacular beginning on Thanksgiving night. This free, drive-thru event will feature beautiful holiday light displays, and Santa will appear throughout the season to visit too. The event will be open daily from November 25, 2021 - January 3, 2022, and you can follow their Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Enter a Sea of Twinkling Lights at the Festival of Trees

Visit the Saratoga Springs City Center on December 1 - 5, 2021, and explore a Christmas wonderland of decorated trees, wreaths, and centerpieces available for viewing and purchase. The Saratoga Festival of Trees is a beloved tradition that supports the Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.

Pick Out the Perfect Christmas Tree

Christmas time is here, and one of the season's best activities is choosing the perfect tree for your home. For many families, it's tradition to visit a local Christmas tree farm and find a fragrant and fresh tree. In the Saratoga County area, there are multiple Christmas tree farms offering a variety of trees for the holidays, from Fraser fir to balsam and blue spruce.

Who Doesn’t Enjoy a Traditional Holiday Parade?

holiday parade float

Nothing says the holidays like an old-fashioned Christmas parade through town. In Saratoga County, there are two parades you won’t want to miss happening in South Glens Falls and Ballston Spa.

South Glens Falls Fire Company Holiday Parade

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the annual South Glens Falls Holiday Parade will travel through the South Glens Falls community. Marchers, floats, costumed characters, bands, and Santa Claus will take part in this village holiday tradition. Non-perishable food items or new, unwrapped toys will be accepted for donation.

Ballston Spa Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

During the first Friday of December, the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association will present the 2021 Ballston Spa Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting. After making changes to the event in 2020, the parade will travel through town for 2021 and spread holiday cheer.

Cheer On the Holiday Train as It Rolls Through Saratoga County

Editor's Note (10/27/2021): Please note that the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will not travel through Saratoga County this year, and Canadian Pacific will instead offer a virtual experience.

Similar to 2020, Canadian Pacific has announced plans to donate to local food banks in communities along its network and offer a virtual concert in lieu of the traditional Holiday Train experience. They remain committed to ensuring donations go to all food banks that would ordinarily receive them.

Experience the Magic of First Night Saratoga

people at an outdoor winter event near a building and park
Photo Credit: Jacob Weakland

Editor's Note (11/16/2021): Please be aware that First Night Saratoga 2022 has been canceled. Below, you can read about what the event has included in past years. We look forward to First Night's return next year!

Recognized as the state’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration outside of New York City, First Night Saratoga is a Spa City tradition that attracts over 15,000 revelers annually. The event typically features all kinds of entertainment from live music to dance, magic, comedy, and more. To attend these fantastic performances, all you need to do is buy a First Night button.

At midnight, everyone gathers in Congress Park to ring in the new year with a spectacular fireworks show. There’s no better way to say goodbye to the year than a trip to First Night Saratoga.

Excited for the holidays? Plan your trip to Saratoga County today!

This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or view of Saratoga County Tourism or its members.

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