Holidays heralded in Hamilton

Sue McVaugh will perform one of her favorite duties of the year as Hamilton's mayor -- flipping the switch on the holiday tree on the Village Green. Typically, the Village prepares a tree on the north end of the Green, but this year, the live tree at the south end of the Green will be festooned with decorations and lights for the occasion.

The official tree lighting ceremony will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 5. This year, the Green will also be lit up with luminaries -- sand-filled paper bags illuminated with candles -- that will light the pathways to the tree. Retired Madison County judge and local history enthusiast Hugh Humphreys will give a presentation, the Chenango Valley Youth Chorale will perform holiday songs, and a horse-drawn trolley will give rides to carolers along Village streets. The Colgate Inn plans to provide complimentary hot chocolate and cookies under the portico of the Baptist Church on Broad Street.

After the tree lighting, head over to the Park Methodist Church for the 7:30 p.m. performance by Jubilation! Women's Vocal Ensemble. The group will present a selection of holiday songs sung by a rainbow of beautiful voices. There is a suggested donation of $3 to help raise funds for the group.

On Saturday, Santa Claus comes to Hamilton, with the annual Breakfast with Santa at Colgate Inn from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost of the breakfast is $10.95 for adults and $5.95 for children, with a grand buffet including pastries, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, biscuits with sausage gravy and more. A complimentary photo with Santa is included with each breakfast.

After Santa takes a mid-day break and feeds his reindeer, he will head over to the Palace Theater (AKA the North Pole) from 3 to 6 p.m. to speak one-on-one with children about their holiday wishes. There will be crafts, reindeer games, cookies and hot chocolate for all.

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