---- — ESSEX — A cookie contest, free pancake breakfast and, of course, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus are all part of the annual Magic of Christmas celebration set for Saturday, Dec. 1.
The day will begin at 9:15 a.m., when Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the Adirondack Art Association building, across from the blinking light on Route 9 in the hamlet of Essex, via horse-drawn carriage. The North Pole couple will go next to the Essex Firehouse where their friends and admirers can join them for a free pancake breakfast.
Other events include the Community Church bazaar and luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; the Whallonsburg Grange bazaar; the Reindeer Run, a free fun run for both kids for adults set for 12:45 to 1:15 p.m., starting and ending at LiveWell on Main Street; and the holiday cookie contest at the Essex Ice Cream Café from 2 to 2:45 p.m. First prize in the cookie contest is $50; contestants must drop off by cookies 1:45 p.m.
Several events will be held over extended hours. From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., holiday vendors will be set up in the Adirondack Art Association building, offering jewelry, ornaments, hand-woven Adirondack baskets, biscotti, paintings, wreaths and kissing balls, baked goods, pottery, glass and other local crafts. From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Fabulous Holiday Photo Booth will operate at the Ice Cream Café. The Belden Noble Library’s silent auction with 12 baskets of items donated by local businesses and residents takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The day wraps up with a reading of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” by Steven Kellogg in the library at 4 p.m. and the lighting of the tree in front of the Town Hall at 5:15 p.m.
Local shops, including the Pink Pig, Neighborhood Nest, Ice Cream Café, Cupola House, LiveWell and ReNew will be open throughout the day, offering holiday gifts and gift certificates. Lunch and dinner will be available at the Essex Inn, with live holiday music and festive seasonal drinks available in the evening.