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News of Otsego County

cooperstown santa

Santa Arrives At Renovated Pioneer Park

Santa Arrives At

Renovated Pioneer Park

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus to Pioneer Park Friday, Nov. 29, where $165,000 in renovations had just been completed. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

When Santa arrived at his Cooperstown cottage on Friday, Nov. 29, he arrived at the brand-new Pioneer Park.

“The last design I could find was from 1965,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “There haven’t been a ton of changes since then.”

In 2018, the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce kiosk was updated with a touch screen, and a bike rack and bike repair station were built as part of the $2 million federal grant Transportation Enhancement Program.

But because the park is considered an “urban park,” Tillapaugh said, applications for funding direct upgrades to the space were ignored.

“It doesn’t have a swimming pool or anything,” she said. “So it wasn’t a priority for the state parks department.”

In all, the redesign cost $165,000, and went to bid in June. “When I was chair of the (village) Parks Committee, I built up a reserve of funds,” said Tillapaugh. “This year, we put the remainder of the balance into the budget.”

Michael Haas, Delta Engineering, Endwell, was selected as the architect. “He designed the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater at The Fenimore Art Museum,” she said. “He had done urban parks in Corning as well, so we were very familiar with his work.”

The work began Labor Day weekend – “We never do any work in the summer season,” said Tillapaugh – with Kevin Green of Epic Landscaping doing the work.

“Everything had to be done by Nov. 8,” she said. “That would give us time to clean up and for the 4Cs to decorate for Santa’s arrival.”

And Santa was a big consideration for the design of the park. “We consulted with The 4Cs,” – the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee – “And we made sure they were in the loop as we did the design.”

Santa’s Cottage, once at the front of the park, has been moved towards the back to allow for more space in the park for the line to form. “Before the move, people would line up on the sidewalk,” she said. “It allows for better flow and for the whole park to function better.”

There is also a ramp to the new stage, which allows greater accessibility to Santa’s Cottage, and a hidden PVC pipe that allows them to set the tree up with ease. “Before, we were just digging a hole and putting the tree in there, then covering it up with dirt when we were done,” she said. “People would trip over it, so now, there’s a manhole cover.”

The stage is also a new addition, proposed in 2018. “Before, we just had blue flagstone space that musicians would set up,” she said. “So we built a stage with a ramp and more outlets for our Music on Main programming.”

And the park will also host a Keith Haring-style mural next summer, in conjunction with an exhibit of the late artist’s work at The Fenimore.

New plant beds with granite borders were installed, and new plants to fill them. “We planted two birches, and we have a London Planetree that we will plant in the spring,” she said.

A water fountain with a bottle fill station was placed in the park with a temporary concrete pad, but has been removed for the winter and will be replaced in the spring with permanent brick pavers.

“It’s not just about Santa,” she said. “The whole park is greatly improved.”

 

SANTA ARRIVES IN COOPERSTOWN

SANTA ARRIVES

IN COOPERSTOWN

“Welcome home to Cooperstown!” declares Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, as – for the first time since her March election – she greets Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrive at their Pioneer Park cottage in a horse-drawn carriage. The day afternoon Thanksgiving, good boys and girls came from all over the area to welcome the Jolly Old Elf, ushering in the Christmas season. At right, Brynlee Burr, 4, and her mom, Brittany, were decked out in their holiday finest to keep warm and wait for the parade to bring Santa to town. Santa will be in his cottage over the weekend and until Christmas Eve give hear all his young Cooperstown friends related their holiday wishes. (Libby Cudmore, AllOTSEGO.com)

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 10
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 10

Live Christmas Tradition

At Candlelight Evening

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We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.

CANDLELIGHT EVENING – 3-7 p.m. Participate in a beloved holiday tradition. The museum is decorated with greenery and candles with wagon rides, a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol”, arts & crafts for the kids, visits with Saint Nicholas, complimentary wassail, a bonfire on the Tavern Green, and Caroling by the Catskill Chamber Singers. The Farmers Museum, 5775 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, www.farmersmuseum.org/Candlelight-Evening

WASSAIL WEEKEND – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Demonstration on how to make Wassail, the traditional holiday dring. Savory spices blended with sweet cider at The Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Info, 1-800-505-6455, flycreekcidermill.com

OPERA – 12:55 p.m. “L’Amour de Loin.” The Met streaming live in HD. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Cost $18/seniors, $20/adults, 10/students. Season pass $200. Box Office: (607) 431-2080, foothillspac.org/index.php/shows/metropolitan-opera-in-hd

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 4
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 4

Signs Of The Season

Everywhere In County

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR – 9 a.m.-2 p.m. featuring quality, handmade crafts by local and regional crafters. Free admission. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine pkwy, Oneonta.

FESTIVAL OF TREES – Noon-4 p.m. Holiday Tree and Gift Raffles. Allso collecting Toys for Tots and non-perishable food donations. Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 Co. Hwy. 31, Cooperstown. Info, www.friendsofglimmerglass.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 3
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 3

Run Of The Ugly Sweaters

At 3 p.m. In Cooperstown

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

UGLY SWEATER RUN – There’s still time to take in the Ugly Sweater Run:  It departs at 3 p.m. from Pioneer Park in downtown Cooperstown.  (The listing incorrectly reported 1:30 p.m.)  Info, clarksportscenter.com/events/rockin-around-cooperstown-ugly-sweater-run-walk/index.php

CONCERT – 7 p.m. Juice Newton performs her greatest hits. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St. Oneonta. Info, foothillspac.org  List to “Angel in the Morning.”

HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR – 9 a.m.-4 p.m. featuring quality, handmade crafts by local and regional crafters. Free admission. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine pkwy, Oneonta.

PTA HOLIDAY BREAKFAST/MARKET – 8 a.m.-Noon Cooperstown Elementary School,  21 Walnut St, Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstowncs.org

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103