Holiday tree lighting, downtown stroll scheduled

GLOVERSVILLE — The Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting and Downtown Stroll will be found a short stroll downtown this year in it’s new permanent home in Castiglione Memorial Park.

With the calendar of spring, summer and fall events behind them, the Gloversville Downtown Business Improvement District Board of Directors has turned its attention to the city’s next big event; the Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting and Downtown Stroll.

The annual event to kick off the holiday season and encourage area residents to begin their shopping downtown will be held this year on Nov. 24 to coincide with the Holiday Parade.

While planning for the event is ongoing, BID Board of Directors President Jim Schlesier said during Tuesday’s meeting that the city’s Christmas tree will be in a new location this year at Castiglione Memorial Park on North Main Street.

“We made a decision to buy a tree for the BID park, so we’re hoping for a 15 foot tree,” Schlesier said.

Schlesier said difficulties coming to terms with the property owner where the tree is normally located each year at the Four Corners led the committee overseeing the event to the decision to purchase and plant a live tree in the park that can be decorated each year.

To make way for the new tree, Schlesier said the monument dedicating the park to Dr. Louis Castiglione Jr. will be moved from its current location to the opposite side of the park near the bench.

This will position the tree near the mouth of the park along North Main Street on the left hand side of the walkway.

Schlesier noted that Joe Gillis, owner of the neighboring Dunday’s Clothing Store, has offered to provide the electricity to power the lights that will decorate the tree.

Also new this year, the BID is working to coordinate with the Gloversville Enlarged School District to tentatively have Gloversville High School students in the park to host holiday related craft activities ahead of the tree lighting ceremony.

“Pretty much everything is going to take place in the park this year,” BID Board of Directors Secretary Donna Kenney said.

One feature that will not be returning this year is the free horse-drawn wagon rides that the BID members said residents did not take advantage of in previous years until the very end of the hour and a half intervals during which they were available, shortly before the Holiday Parade.

“It’s too bad because everybody loved them, but everybody loved them the last 15 minutes,” Kenney said.

Schlesier noted that plans for the Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting and Downtown Stroll are still coming together, saying he anticipates having final details to share with the full BID board during next month’s meeting on Nov. 13.