By Connor Linskey
On Saturday, the annual Old Fashioned Holiday in the Village of Montgomery looked a little different from past years.
One of the main differences was that an outdoor boutique took place during the Old Fashioned Holiday. Many local businesses set up tables on Clinton and Union Streets where they promoted their products. The Wallkill River Art School sold miniature holiday paintings, memberships and gift certificates. Corey’s Pickles showcased their pickles, t-shirts and pickle-themed toys. Spice Beast of Middletown sold a variety of exotic spices.
Businesses with brick and mortar locations on Clinton and Union Streets also joined in on the fun.
Copperfields Pub had sales on all their merchandise. They also offered three new holiday beers as well as their signature drink Christmas Caramel Coppernog. Astoria Hudson gave shoppers 15 percent off storewide items and 10 percent off gift cards.
The boutique was organized by the Business Council of Greater Montgomery. The group’s Executive Director Randi Picarello believed that the Old Fashioned Holiday was a solid platform for businesses to showcase their products.
“I think that the businesses really needed another avenue for people to shop safely and remind them to support local [businesses],” she said. “Being that the village has had this event for so many years and it’s already established, it was a good thing to build on for all of the businesses in the business district.”
While organizing the event, the group made sure that every business that had a storefront on Clinton and Union Streets was aware that they could utilize their sidewalk. They also planned where vendors would be placed in between the businesses. The council contacted businesses from the town’s farmers market and other businesses from throughout the town about participating in the boutique.
This year’s event was also different from past years due to COVID-19 restrictions. Children were unable to sit on Santa Claus’ lap. Instead, they were forced to tell Santa their Christmas wishes from behind a barrier. Children lined up to see Santa at the bandstand as opposed to the usual location of village hall. Regardless of the location, children beamed with happiness when they saw Santa and were equally as excited when a camera took their photograph, a new addition to this year’s festivities. After the children finished talking to Santa they were presented with a goodie bag courtesy of Montgomery Village Trustee Michael Hembury.
During the Old Fashioned Holiday, members of the First Presbyterian Church put on a live nativity. Meanwhile, the Knights of Columbus handed out free hot chocolate and collected monetary donations for coats for local children. Attendees were also able to donate to Toys for Tots, as a donation box was placed at the First Presbyterian Church. Trees and wreaths were sold at the Montgomery Firehouse.
The event also featured music from local residents. The band Walk Don’t Run rocked the boutique and Alix and Brian O’Connor hyped up the crowd prior to the tree lightings.
People gathered in droves for the tree lightings. The lights on the tree in front of village hall beamed through the foggy night. The multi-colored lights on the tree in front of the First Presbyterian Church also showed beautifully.
“Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and happy holidays,” Village of Montgomery Mayor Steve Brescia said to the crowd following the lighting of the tree in front of village hall. “Thanks for coming.”