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Armory Square for the holly days

Whether a history buff, serious shopper, "high tea" consumer, connoisseur of fine (and fast) foods, or seeker of entertaining music, downtown's historic Armory Square, ablaze with brightly lit trees, is the place to be this holiday season.

Activities for the whole family in the Armory Square Association's 2009 Holiday Program begin on Saturday, November 28, the highest visitors' day of the Thanksgiving weekend, and continue every Saturday through December 19.

Beginning at noon on those Saturdays, legendary entrepreneur Abraham Walton returns to the Square to conduct and narrate historic horse-drawn trolley rides, providing passengers with a glimpse into the past and future that documents the neighborhood's continually changing fa ade and enticing environment. And while 'Abe' is not the average appearing Santa Claus, still he gifts children and adults at the end of each run with goodies from his large travel bag. The tours, embarking from the corner of West Jefferson and Franklin Streets, run approximately every 15 minutes through 3:00 pm.

Also beginning at noon and continuing through 5:00 pm each Saturday throughout December, The Jefferson Clinton Hotel will host 'high teas' with servings of beverage and refreshments. Additionally, soothing entertainment is planned to give visitors a truly relaxing respite amid the beautifully appointed hotel lobby and its holiday decorations.

Other entertainment comes with the return of the Salvation Army Syracuse Citadel Adult Choir, songsters who delighted everyone in years past as they strolled the streets performing the season's most beautiful music. The choir will be in the Square on December 5 and 19.

Also on December 5, retailers will open doors to their holiday parties where clothing apparel, fine art and crafts and more gift selections will help shoppers gleefully check off their holiday lists as they indulge in open house refreshments. And throughout the season, Armory Square restaurants, in conjunction with the Everson Museum's Turner To Cezanne Exhibit, will honor their "Dinner With the Masters" promotion, offering three course menus at one low cost.

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