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Get Lit at These Hudson Valley Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Adobe Stock | Photo by dima

Start the holiday season in the Hudson Valley with festive parades, mesmerizing firework displays, and tree lighting spectacles.

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are off the trees, the holiday shopping lists seem endless, and snowfall looms (whether you’re ready for it or not). Before the hustle and bustle of getting last-minute gifts and ingredients for holiday dishes overwhelms you, take a moment to enjoy the season by attending one of the Hudson Valley’s spectacular seasonal ceremonies.  

Albany County 

2022 City of Albany Tree Lighting

Academy Park, Albany
December 2, 5-7 p.m.

Albany does December right with a Friday night fest at Academy Park. Stop by for free donuts and hot drinks from Cider Belly Doughnuts, then keep an eye out for crafting and photo opportunities. Albany High School’s Albanettes & Troubadors will perform.


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New York State’s Holiday Tree Lighting

Empire State Plaza, Albany
December 4, 12-8 p.m.

The New York State Holiday Tree is ready to be lit at Empire State Plaza during this free celebration. Make it a holiday-themed day trip by sticking around for fireworks and a rock-and-skate with Skeeter Creek, not to mention performances by Tuba Christmas and photo ops with the man in red.

Columbia County 

Holiday Potluck, Caroling & Tree Lighting

The Society of New Concord, East Chatham
December 3, 4-6 p.m.

As Buddy says, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Get to the caroling in the Catskills at East Chatham’s annual event, where the tree is lit and hungry mouths are fed.

Dutchess County 

Pine Plains Decorating Day & Parade of Lights 

Pine Plains
November 26, 3-6 p.m.

Pine Plains takes its community celebration to another level. Spend the afternoon decorating the town with friends and family members, then stick around for the parade with Santa himself. 


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Wappinger Town Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Schlathaus Park, Wappingers Falls
December 3, 5-7:30 p.m.

The Town of Wappinger is magical during the holidays. Join the community for its free, annual celebration and tree lighting, which includes hot chocolate and donuts, a craft and game for kids, and a visit from Santa. The first 300 children to visit Santa will receive a gift bag. No registration is required.

Orange County


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3rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Tin Barn Brewing, Chester
December 2 & 4

Tin Barn Brewing celebrates the arrival of the most festive time of the year with not one, but two tree lighting ceremonies. On Friday, December 2, stop by to see the tree twinkle while OC5 provides live music from 6-9 p.m. On Sunday, a family-friendly rendition features Identity Crisis playing live from 2-5 p.m.

Tree Lighting Parade & Ceremony 

John F. Degnan Square, Middletown
November 25, 6 p.m.

The City of Middletown and The Downtown Middletown Business Improvement District host a classic holiday celebration and parade for the community. The parade takes place at John F. Degnan Square (formerly Festival Square). The live entertainment kicks off at 6 p.m., while the parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. At the end, Santa will arrive to light the tree.

Holiday Tree Lighting  

Pine Island Town Park, Pine Island
December 7, 5 p.m.

Visitors to the Pine Island Christmas celebration can spend time with friends and neighbors as everyone watches in awe as the tree lights up. This event is hosted by the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce.

Putnam County 

Holiday on the Lake & Christmas Village 

Historic Hamlet of Carmel
December 3, 2:30-9 p.m.

This all-day celebration features a parade, live music, and much more. Holiday on the Lake returns this year, kicking off with a holiday market that runs throughout the day, along with hayrides with Santa, a tree lighting at 5 p.m., live music, a Santa stroll, a parade of lights, and another tree lighting at 7:30 p.m. It’s bound to be a fun-filled occasion for all.

Rockland County  

2022 Nanuet Tree Lighting Celebration

Orchard St, Nanuet
December 3, 5:30-7 p.m.

Live entertainment, fun-filled activities, and food vendors await visitors before Santa’s arrival at 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the tree will be lit before the community fest wraps up.

Holiday Lights 

December 2

The Nyack Chamber of Commerce puts on another spectacular event. Check the Chamber’s Facebook page for updates on start times.

Ulster County  

10th Annual Hamlet of Milton Tree Lighting

December 4, 2-5 p.m.

Now in its 10th year, the Hamlet of Milton’s festive to-do includes a visit from Santa and Milton Engine, library activities, and music provided by Enriquez Entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to BYOO (that’s “bring your own ornament” to decorate the tree) and stick around for caroling. At 4 p.m. the tree will light up to set the area aglow.

Related: Pick Your Perfect Pine at a Hudson Valley Christmas Tree Farm

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