JOHNSTOWN — Downtown Johnstown will again be into the spirit of the holidays with the city-sponsored annual Holiday Parade and Colonial Stroll set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday.
The event is free and open to the public.
City Clerk Cathy Van Alstyne said the parade, which will head up Main Street to William Street, will kick off the downtown activities at 6 p.m. Main Street will be blocked off to traffic.
Santa Claus will arrive at the end of the parade on a city fire truck, only to then take part in the Colonial Stroll to follow at the Sir William Johnson Park off West Main Street. Van Alstyne said Santa and Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson will then light the Christmas tree in the park.
Covenant Presbyterian Church will perform a live Nativity program following the tree lighting.
A Santa’s House will be set up downtown for children to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. Photos will be $5 apiece.
Other activities at Friday night’s Colonial Stroll will include face painting at Vince’s Pizza & Pasta, 128 W. Main St. Food vendors will also be available in the park.
Stores will be open downtown, some serving refreshments. Girl Scouts will be selling cookies through the downtown area.
Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available up and down Main Street.
The nearby Johnstown Historical Society, 17 N. William St., will be open and have refreshments for stroll participants.
In addition to the Colonial Stroll, the Johnson Hall State Historic Site will also conduct a Holiday Open House from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. The hall will be decorated for the holiday season and will feature live 18th Century music performed by Liaison Plaisantes on the second floor.
Mulled cider and ginger cookies will be served at the Slave Quarters fireplace. The museum shop will offer 20 percent off for holiday shopping that evening. Horse-drawn wagon rides of the mansion’s candlelit circular driveway by Fritz-Ann Farms will be available to visitors between 6 to 8:30 p.m.
The Johnson Hall event – at 139 Hall Ave. – is also free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted and earmarked for the continued historic restoration efforts of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant’s historic home.
This year’s hall event is co-sponsored by Johnson Hall State Historic Site, Friends of Johnson Hall, Goderie’s Tree Farm, Hewitt’s Garden Center and the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]