For residents of many small towns across the Hudson Valley, one of the most disheartening effects of the previous year’s shutdowns has been the absence of traditional and seasonal festivals and events. As the calendar begins its march towards 2022, and with many of us wishing 2020’s turmoil toward our collective rear view mirror, local volunteers and community organizations are bringing family festivities back for residents to enjoy.

In Millerton, NY, after the streets of the historic village fell mostly silent last year, its beloved Annual Parade of Lights is back this year thanks to the Millerton Fire Company. According to the fire department, this year’s parade will be returning on Black Friday, November 26th. Beginning at 5:30pm, the parade will feature fire trucks and community floats from across the area, lighting up the streets to celebrate the start to the holiday season. “I’m really looking forward to this year’s parade,” one resident said. “It is the best parade of the year!” In the meantime, thanks to efforts from Townscape of Millerton, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, and local company Peerless Tree Services, the village’s trees along Main Street and in Veterans Park are strung with lights and ready to help spread holiday cheer. “This year we need light more than ever to cheer us through the winter days,” said representatives from Townscape. “Each year, Townscape Millerton sponsors the spectacular holiday lights and decorations along Main Street. It takes 50,000 individual lights, a team of expert tree specialists (Peerless Tree Services), a small team of hardy volunteers and three days to get everything ready.”

The village’s local businesses will be getting involved as well during the day of the parade. Starting at 11am, The Movie House will be screening the holiday movie Elf with free popcorn. All day, businesses like Irving Farm, will be offering holiday goodies, cookies, hot cider, cocoa and the like to shoppers visiting the village for the day’s festivities. In the afternoon, the Fire Department Santa will be traveling up and down Main Street passing out candy and taking photos with families. As the parade kicks off at 5:30, Millerton’s Mayor Jennifer Najdek will be partaking in the lighting of the big Christmas tree that sits at the intersection of Route 22 and Route 44. “I think it’s great to have the parade of lights back in full swing, It definitely kicks off the Holiday spirit here in Millerton and definitely one of those can’t miss events,” said Mayor Najdek. “The Fire department does a great job with this. It’s also great to see all of the lit up trees on Main Street. The lighting of the big tree at the intersection of 22 & 44 (one my grandfather helped plant many years ago) is something very special for me. I want to thank Townscape and all of their supporters who help make the lighting of those trees possible.”

Lineup for the parade will begin at 4:30pm with the familiar route starting on route 22 at Arnoff Storage, proceeding up Main Street, turning onto North Maple Avenue and ending on Century Boulevard at the FireHouse. “We hope everyone will join us for the entire day of festivities,” said Townscape representatives. “We hope to lift the spirits of residents and visitors when they see the lights and join the parade. This event really symbolizes our village’s best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.”