- Courtesy of Hudson Hall
With over a foot of snow blanketing everything, it is really beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere, the lights are up and carols are on the radio. This year, due to COVID-19, celebrations will look a little different. But while we might not be able to go out and gather with one another at holiday parties and event venues like in years past, there are still many ways to keep your traditions alive and enjoy the season in your community. From drive-in theater to streamed ballet performances, here are several holiday events happening in the Hudson Valley that are safe, fun, and festive.
“Into the Light: A Tale of Hope” | Vanaver Caravan
Sunday, December 20, 2020, 7pm
Two of the region’s top performance organizations, the Vanaver Caravan dance company, and Arm-of-the-Sea Theater puppet troupe, have teamed up this year to present “Into the Light,” a family holiday extravaganza they will present live virtually on December 20 at 6:30pm. “Into the Light” tells the story of a young girl named Lucia who journeys around the world to find light in the darkest time of the year. The show features Arm-of-the-Sea’s beloved giant puppets with Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, Yule, Advent, and solstice holiday songs, dances, and other traditions. Tickets are $10 and up.
A Star-Studded Online Reading of “Christmas Eve 1953” | Shadowland Stages
For their annual holiday benefit, Ellenville-based Shadowland Stages will present a special online play reading of “Christmas Eve 1953.” The reading premiers online on Saturday, December 19 at 8pm and will be available on demand through Tuesday, December 22. It features such celeb readers as David Straithairn and Sharon Washington. Excerpted from Hanks’s book Uncommon Type: Some Stories, “Christmas Eve 1953” was adapted for the stage by James Glossman. The story starts with Virgil Buell and his wife Dolores celebrating Christmas Eve. At exactly midnight, the World War II vet receives his annual long-distance call from his old Army pal, Bud, sending him down a perilous path of memories from their shared, explosive past. Tickets to stream the recorded reading are available with a donation of any amount on Shadowland’s website.
“The Nutcracker” at Wethersfield
It just wouldn’t be the holidays without an annual viewing of timeless ballet “The Nutcracker.” Wethersfield Estate in Dutchess County has reimagined the seasonal classic for this bizarre, pandemic-stricken year with both in-person and online streaming options. Choreographed and directed by Troy Shumacher, “The Nutcracker” is currently running at the Amenia historic site until December 23 for small groups of donors. And starting on December 23 at 5pm, the classic holiday Wetherfield Nutcracker production by the BalletCollective will be available for free online streaming from their website and will remain available through December 26 at midnight. There will also be an interactive live stream of the performance on Twitch.tv on Sunday, December 20 at 5pm.
“The Nutcracker” | Bardavon
Bardavon will also be presenting “The Nutcracker,” performed by the New Paltz Ballet Theater and filmed at the Poughkeepsie opera house in 2019, virtually starting Christmas Eve at 7pm and running through New Year’s Day. Peter and Lisa Naumann, co-directors of the New Paltz Ballet Theater, have brought many regional artists together to create the 22nd season of this classic holiday production. The holiday event features dancers from the New York City Ballet can be streamed for free.
“A Christmas Carol” | Center for Performing Arts
The Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck will present Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” on a raised, outdoor stage at 7pm daily, Friday, December 18 through Sunday, December 19. “A Christmas Carol,” directed and written for stage by Lou Trapani, with musical direction by Paul and JoAnne Schubert, will be a drive-in live theater experience, rain or shine. Tickets are $20 per person.
Handel’s “Messiah” Sing-Along | Bardavon
A virtual streaming of the 2019 performance of the “Handel’s Messiah” at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York will be available for streaming on Saturday, December 19 at 2pm. The sing-along event, from the 2019 performance of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Cappella Festiva, has lyrics on the screen and commentary by guest conductor Christine Howlett. So gather the family ’round for this free virtual event, and get ready to sing your heart out.
Winter Walk in Hudson
To space out visitors to Hudson in this pandemic year and keep everyone safe, “Winter Walk: The Hudson Safe Edition” has been stretched over three weeks. Throughout the month of December, the city will host free family-friendly events for “20 Days of Festive Cheer,” including late night shopping, a “Rip the Nut” video projection at Hudson Hall, a Menorah lighting, a prayer ceremony, a virtual visit with Santa Claus, and a Christmas tree lighting. The events will take place on 7th Street. Park in Hudson.
- This year Winter Walk will look different from years past. But Hudson is still all lit up with plenty of holiday cheer and family-friendly activities.