Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera Houseis thrilled to announce the lineup of performers, events, and attractions for the 26th Anniversary of Winter Walk. The free event takes place on the street and in the independent stores lining Hudson’s historic downtown on Saturday, December 3 from 5-8pm, kicking off the holidays with a magical evening of music, dance, circus, visual arts, food, holiday shopping, fireworks, and family fun. With its focus on local and regional talent, Hudson Valley-made goods, and with a generous holiday spoonful of only-in-Hudson charm, Winter Walk brings together the whole community to celebrate the season. For a full list of all Winter Walk 2022 performers and attractions, download the Winter Walk Guide.
On the night before Winter Walk, excitement builds on Warren Street as Hudson’s creative spirit shines through the stunning window displays unveiled for the Winter Walk Window Decorating Contest on Friday, December 2 at 5p m. Among the first to enjoy the holiday spectacle are the seniors from Providence Hall, who enjoy a free bus tour of the beautifully decorated windows on Winter Walk day – including the winners of the official Winter Walk Decorating Contest – after being treated to tea and cookies at Tanzy’s.
Winter Walk 2022 officially kicks off at 5:00pm on Saturday, December 3 with the bells of the First Presbyterian Church ringing 26 times in honor of the 26th Anniversary. Then, the sound of sleigh bells and clicking of horse’s hooves signals Santa’s arrival at City Hall (520 Warren Street) in his horse-drawn carriage. The young Harmony Project Hudson choristers welcome Santa with a song before children and families are invited join him inside to share their holiday wishes and receive a free gift-wrapped book. Meanwhile, Friends of the Public Square (FOPS) shines a light on 7th Street Park with the Lighting of the Tree, generously donated by Kody & Jo Pinkowski.
Over at Hudson Hall (327 Warren Street), an exhibition of young artists from local and area schools showcases our region’s artists of tomorrow. Sponsored by Winter Walk Grand Sponsor Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, Community Canvas features work by students from the Hudson City School District, Catskill Central School District, Catskill Montessori School, Germantown School District, Ichabod Crane Central School District, and Taconic Hills Central School District. From future artists to a warm hug from the past, Winter Walkers can take a break upstairs in Hudson Hall’s beautiful 1855 theater and enjoy holiday episodes of nostalgic television on Hudson Hall’s full size silver screen.
Back out on Warren Street, musicians and dancers entertain holiday shoppers with in-store performances, while roving performers delight crowds taking in the decorated storefronts. Winter Walk favorites such as Circus Theatricks with Sean Fagan, carolers Key of Qand the Victorian Voices Choir, Sax-o-Claus, and fire twirler Acadia Rae return this year, as will horse and carriage rides at 7th Street Park. Returning for a second year, conductor Gwen Gould leads a brass quartet from the Hudson Festival Orchestra in front of 441 Warren Street. DJ Ronnie Rave returns to rock the pocket park next to FINCH hudson (427 Warren).
In addition to visiting Santa at City Hall, young families will enjoy free pony rides and a petting zoo at the corner of 5th and Warren Street, free face painting by Boho Body Art, and can collect their very own balloon creature by Trixie the Clown (both at Hudson Hall).
New to Winter Walk this year is a special hour-long show by dancer and performance artist Davon & Friends presented by The Spark of Hudson at The Spark Stage (364 Warren Street) from 6:30pm; singer/actress Ilana Meredith and accordion player/keyboardist/clarinetist Joe Rutkowski serenading shoppers amongst 100 silver balloons at Hudson’s newest retail store, Black Label Vintage (711 Warren Street); DJ collective The Robyn Party transforming Winter Walkers into winter groovers with a fun DJ set of pop vocal holiday classics and remixes outside 225 Warren Bar & Grill; and the Camphill Hudson Chime Choir performing for the first time at Mercury’s Playhouse (339 Warren Street).
A highlight of this year’s event is performances and installations by the recipients of the 2022 Winter Walk Artist Grant Program. Sponsored by Winter Walk Grand Sponsor Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, the program was created to support Hudson’s unique creative community by giving financial support to help create work featured on the street and in shops on December 3. Features include puppet artists Rachel Drozdowicz and Wren Bytheway’s enormous Winter Bird puppet (created by Camphill Hudson) flapping its beautiful wings on Warren Street; artist Jack Dylan’s bucolic scene of animated vintage train cars with a backdrop of the cat-like Catskill Mountains in the window of 441 Warren Street; the opportunity to sit on Ms. Trixolina Clauzone’s lap and have your picture taken while serenaded with carols by drag performer Ophelia Nightly; master screen printer Jef “Wolfy” Scharf’s unique take on a holiday shop (where all the gifts are free and created using repurposed materials) outside Hudson Hall; Likeminded Objects’ (344 Warren Street) interactive T-Shirt Waste Loom upcycling demonstrations; and dance artist Rachel Kappel’s Dancers & Prancers – featuring dozens of dancers in shop windows and along the street. Participating dancers and groups include Sondra Loring,Elena Mosley and Operation Unite NY, Roz’s Dance Works, Sternfeld Dance Studio, Hudson Valley Performing Arts Center, and Zumba with Paula. For a full list of artist grant recipients, visit hudsonhall.org.
At eight o’clock, fireworks light up the winter sky from Promenade Hill, marking the official conclusion of Winter Walk and time for Santa to be on his way. The merriment continues long into the night with many businesses open late for food, drink, and entertainment. For those looking to warm their hearts as well as their bellies, Hudson Hall welcomes new and old friends from 8:15pm to enjoy a special Winter Walk “Chilly” Dinner fundraiser to honor Hudson Hall’s first Directors Emeritae Elena Mosley and Ellen Thurston. Tickets are $100 with proceeds going towards the cost of producing Winter Walk each year. More information and tickets at hudsonhall.org.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, December 3, 2022 / 5 – 8pm
LOCATION: City of Hudson