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Get Lit at These Hudson Valley Tree Lighting Ceremonies

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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 tree lighting ceremonies.  

Albany County 

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Holiday Tree Lighting

Empire State Plaza, Albany
December 5

The New York State Holiday Tree is ready to be lit at Empire State Plaza with a free celebration. Make it a holiday-themed day trip by attending the Great Train Extravaganza happening on the same day. 

Columbia County 

Annual Lighting, Dinner, and Caroling

The Society of New Concord, East Chatham
December 4, 5:30 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 

Christmas Tree Lighting 

Rhinebeck Bank Parking Plaza, Rhinebeck
November 20, 3-6 p.m.

Kick off the holiday festivities with activities, entertainment, and Hudson Valley food vendors. During the day, the man in red will make his way to the Rhinebeck Bank Plaza. The lights turn on promptly at 5:30 p.m. Afterward, take a stroll through town, now illuminated by bright holiday lights.

Town Decorating Day and Parade of Lights 

Pine Plains
November 27, 3 p.m.

Pine Plains takes community tree lightings to another level. Spend the afternoon decorating the town with friends and family members, then stick around for the parade with Santa himself.  Plus, festive Christmas music really rings in the season.

Christmas in the Village of Wappingers

Mesier Park, Village of Wappingers Falls
November 27, 6 p.m.

The Village of Wappingers Falls is magical during the holidays. Join the festive parade through the center of the village, culminating in a grand tree illuminating. Of course Santa will be there, but keep an eye out for other wintry characters in the park as well.

Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks 

Downtown Poughkeepsie 
December 3, 6:30 p.m.

One of Poughkeepsie’s biggest holiday events returns after a one-year hiatus. Celebrate Christmas with two tree lightings (at Mural Square and Dongan Square Park) and a firework display. Once the lighting ceremonies conclude, head to the waterfront for a dazzling fireworks show above the Hudson. After that, the Bardavon will screen It’s a Wonderful Life at 8 p.m.

Orange County 

Middletown Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade 

John F Degnan Square, Middletown
November 26, 6 p.m.

The City of Middletown and The Business Improvement District host a classic holiday celebration and parade for the community. The parade ends in Festival Square, where Santa lights the tree. Of course, there are so many exciting businesses to pop into for an early holiday shopping spree.

Holiday Tree Lighting  

Pine Island Town Park, Pine Island
December 1, 5 p.m.

Visitors to the Pine Island Christmas celebration can spend time eating cookies and sipping on hot beverages while awaiting the lighting of the tree. Anyone who enjoys caroling can join the carolers in the singing of seasonal classics.  

Putnam County 

Holiday on the Lake: Parade and Tree Lighting 

Downtown Carmel
December 4, 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.

This all-day celebration features parades, live music, and much more. Holiday on the Lake returns this year, kicking off with performances by local musicians along Gleneida Ave. Then, embark on a “Santa Stroll” downtown to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. After that, a parade of festive floats helmed by local businesses makes its way through Carmel. The lights turning on caps the itinerary, illuminating the night.

Rockland County  

Tree Lighting at Nanuet 

Orchard St, Nanuet
December 4, 6-9 p.m.

Live entertainment, fun-filled activities, and food from Rockland restaurants await visitors before Santa’s arrival to light the Christmas tree. 

Holiday Lights 

Hezekiah Easter Veterans Park, Nyack 
December 12

The Nyack Chamber of Commerce puts on another spectacular event, this time with hot chocolate, a visit from Santa, and a tree lighting. Check the Chamber’s Facebook page for updates on start times.


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