December events that had been planned for the Festival Commons in Lake George, such as the Adirondack Christkindlmarkt, were canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that cloud had a silver lining. “This could happen because of the pandemic,” says Letizia Mastrantoni, referring to the cheerful light displays that now ring the Festival grounds.
The cancelation of events left the space open for a new holiday celebration, the Holiday Festival of Lights. Mastrantoni, who operates Events to a T wedding and event planning, conceived the idea as a family-friendly way to enjoy the holidays while following social distancing protocols. It is a walk-through light display accompanied by classic holiday music.
“I had three weeks to pull it together,” she says, but local businesses and organizations were quick to join in. They put their creativity to work building unique light displays, often incorporating elements of their business. For example, Ledgeview RV Park recreated one of their camp sites with Santa and a reindeer roasting marshmallows by a teardrop camper. GlampADK of Queensbury set up a glamping tent for Santa that is decked out for Christmas.
Northern Living Vacation Rentals created a Giving Tree of Nordic patterned gloves, knit hats and plaid wool scarves. A sign urges visitors to take an item and share it with someone in need.
The Village of Lake George’s contribution, created by the Village’s landscape designer Judy Gearwar, centered on the 1791 Thomas Jefferson quote, “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw…” The quote is from a letter Jefferson wrote to his daughter while traveling up Lake George with James Madison. Gearwar illustrated the quote, framed her art with a primitive birch bark frame and surrounded it with pine cone garlands, white pine boughs, burlap bows and strings of miniature white lights.
Vendors outside the gates are selling hot drinks, donuts, fried dough, baked goods, kettle corn and other treats.
The Holiday Festival of Lights runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20, 4-9 p.m. Tickets are $5; children ages 2 and younger are free. Proceeds will benefit Operation Santa Claus, WAIT House and 11th Hour Canine Rescue. Tickets may be purchased online at Eventbrite.com to secure a set time to enter. Tickets are also available at the gate, although attendees may have to wait before entering as organizers are limiting the number of people on the grounds to 50 at one time. Guests must wear masks. Dogs are not allowed. The Festival Commons at Wood Park is a smoke-free venue. Free parking is available on West Brook Road and across Route 9 in the Biscotti Brothers parking lot.
For more information, contact Letizia Mastrantoni at email@example.com.