OSWEGO COUNTY – The holiday season is just around the corner and many communities throughout the county are hosting their annual celebrations. Mark your calendar with these special events and enjoy holiday fun for the whole family! On Thursday, December 4, the city of Oswego welcomes the holidays at the City Hall Plaza on West First Street. Opening ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. with an introduction from Mayor Randy Bateman and winning poetry readings by elementary students. Santa Claus arrives with the city fire department to light the menorah, nativity scene and Christmas tree. Following the lighting ceremony, children can visit with Santa inside city hall while the Lions Club provides hot chocolate, apple juice and cookies. Celebrate ‘Christmas in Mexico’ on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7. From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., browse Main Street merchants’ sidewalk sales and traditional church bazaars at four area churches. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides along Main Street while the Mexico Brass performs and ‘Friends of Bob Cratchit’ entertain you with readings and caroling. At 4 p.m., follow the holiday parade to the Mexico Fire Station for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. When the tree is lit, bring the kids inside to have their picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. On Sunday, join the Mexico Historical Society for their annual holiday concert featuring the Mexico Brass and Concinnity. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the chapel at the Presbyterian Church on Church Street and will be followed by a dessert reception. On Saturday, December 6, the village of Parish hosts a Christmas event at the Veteran Memorial Park on the corner of Church and South Railroad Streets. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with caroling and the tree lighting ceremony. Afterward, come to the village gymnasium on East Main Street for refreshments, games and raffles. There will be a performance by the Right Step Dance Studio and Santa will be at hand for photos and wishes. In the village of Phoenix, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. Following the celebration, stop at the Sweet Memorial Building on Main Street to enjoy a visit with Santa along with games and refreshments. The Bridge House Brats will be taking pictures of Santa with the children during their visit. The West Monroe Historical Society hosts a Christmas celebration on Saturday December 6. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the Constantia Methodist Church Choir at the museum on state Route 49. At 7 p.m., Santa Claus arrives with the West Monroe Volunteer Fire Department to light the Christmas tree, sit for photos and hear the big wishes of small children. Enjoy cookies and beverages at the neighboring New Life Church. On Sunday, December 7, tour the village of Pulaski from 1 to 5 p.m. during the annual ‘Light Up Pulaski’ event. There will be entertainment and refreshments at various locations. Enjoy hayrides through the village while the Lions Club provides hot dogs, hot chocolate and hot coffee from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the South Park on the corner of Jefferson and Lake Streets. Along Jefferson Street, the Make Sense Shop will be open from 12 to 4 p.m., providing caroling entertainment by the Happy Jammers. The Alliance Bank hosts the Helen Hastings Memorial Bell Choir at 1 p.m. The Half-shire Historical Society presents a Christmas harp recital by Kelsey Munz at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse on Bridge Street. The performance begins at 2 p.m. and includes a dessert reception. Witness a living nativity scene at the St. James Episcopal Church on Lake Street. From 1 to 3 p.m., readings commemorating the holiday are scheduled every 15 minutes. Visit open houses at the Pulaski Historical Society on Maple Avenue and at the Salmon River Fine Arts Center on Lake Street. With the museum decorated in the spirit of Christmas, Jessie McRobbie will read “The Night Before Christmas” to children every 30 minutes from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery hosts an opening reception for its Winter Art Show from 2 to 5 p.m. ‘Lights in the Library’ runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Pulaski Public Library on North Jefferson Street. Enjoy holiday entertainment by the P.A.C.S. Holiday Ensemble and the Selkirk Band along with hot chocolate and cookie refreshments. Cast your vote for your favorite tree or wreath in the annual Christmas decorating contest. Bring the kids to the Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department on Lake Street to visit with Santa. From 1:15 to 3:15 p.m., children can have their picture taken with the head elf as they whisper their secret wishes to him. There is a small charge for the photograph. The grand finale takes place at 4 p.m. in the South Park on the corner of Jefferson and Lake Streets. Residents and visitors can listen to the music of The Misfits and hear memorial readings. After the ceremony, the Memory Tree will be lit, followed by the remaining decorated trees in the park. For a complete list of winter events in Oswego County, call Oswego County Tourism at 315-349-8322 or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.
Photo caption:The lighting of the Memory Tree in the village of Pulaski is a holiday tradition in Oswego County. This year’s festivities take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. For a complete list of winter events in Oswego County, call Oswego County Tourism at 315-349-8322 or go www.visitoswegocounty.com