News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Santa Claus

Youngsters Pack Fire Hall As Santa Visits Schenevus

Youngsters Pack Fire Hall

As Santa Visits Schenevus

Ariella Lapre, 5, prepares to share her wish list with Santa Claus, who paid his annual visit this afternoon to the  Schenevus Fire Department’s Christmas Party at the fire hall, organized by the department’s auxiliary.  She’s the daughter of Steve and Sandy Lapre, Westford.  As many as 100 youngsters were expected including (inset, right) Jade Jaquish, 1, who  was excited about meeting Santa, but then wasn’t too sure when she saw the Big Guy in his sled.  She’s the daughter of Liam and Samantha Jaquish, Schenevus.  The annual holiday highlight features food and Christmas cookies, and the Schenevus Central Dragon Tones were scheduled to sing at 4, according to Auxiliary Vice President Christina Snyder, one of the organizers.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Frigid Temperatures Mark Santa’s Arrival

Frigid Temperatures

Mark Santa’s Arrival

Santa in driven into Oneonta by Jay Chase of Chase-n-Dreams Farm, Oneonta, and his sister horses Molly and Dolly during this evening’s Santa Parade in downtown Oneonta. At right, Andrea Thies, Oneonta, walks her dog Sanabel along the parade route, wishing onlookers Merry Christmas. Temperatures in the upper teens thinned some of the crowd, but didn’t keep hundreds from turning out to welcome St. Nick. After visiting with Santa, families could walk around downtown enjoying cider, cocoa, alpacas and carriage rides as they awaited the Tree Lighting ceremony in Muller Plaza. (Ian Austin, James Cummings/AllOTSEGO.com)

Farewell, Mrs. Claus!

Farewell, Mrs. Claus!

Mrs. Claus, aka Vera Stewart, seen at her post outside of JCPenney at the Southside Mall (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By IAN AUSTIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Steve Hughes, Gilbertsville, gives Mrs. Claus a big Christmas hug.

ONEONTA – The end of the Christmas season will mark the end of an era for a Southside Mall mainstay.

For over two decades, Vera Stewart, aka Mrs. Claus, has been volunteering for the Salvation Army by ringing bells and holding doors at her station outside of JCPenney, spreading cheer to holiday shoppers. Dressed in red velvet with white trim, the Southside Mrs. Claus has become a mainstay of the Christmas season to many visitors young and old.

“When they first asked me to be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, I decided to try it.” said Stewart, “I began doing it only on weekends, then I went to five days a week.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 17

Meeting On Oneonta Theater

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PUBLIC MEETING – 7 p.m. Meeting on Oneonta Theater. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org

VISIT SANTA – 3 – 6 p.m. Visit & Take pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Santa’s Cottage, Pioneer Park, Cooperstown. 607-547-9983 or visit www.thisiscooperstown.com/events/santa-his-main-street-cottage-cooperstown

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16

Performance Of ‘A Christmas Carol’

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL – 3 – 5 p.m. Live performance of Charles Dicken’s classic tale featuring local performers. Tickets, $15/adult. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/A-Christmas-Carol

THEATER – 2 p.m. Musical performance of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” by Orpheus Theater. Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta. 607-432-1800 or visit www.facebook.com/OrpheusTheatre/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8

Candlelight & Carols

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

CANDLELIGHT EVENING – 3 – 7 p.m. Experience magic of Christmas season with a candlelit museum covered in Christmas greenery, horse-drawn sleighs, carolers, bonfires, wassail, theater performances, more. Tickets available at door. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Candlelight-Evening

Merry And Bright

Merry & Bright

Tree Lighting Brings Out

Animals, Dancers, Food

Main Street was a flurry of activity as holiday revelers hit the streets to attend the annual Christmas Tree lighting this evening in Muller Plaza. Applause and cheers filed the air after a countdown by Mayor Gary Herzig, Town Supervisor Bob Wood and Santa Claus. Afterward,  Santa, seen above giving a high-five to Oneonta’s Avalon Hermann and her parents Brian and Loren, met with children in his holiday house to discuss their wish lists. Dancers Chase Vining and Sariha Vestefeld, right, and other members of the Fokine Ballet, could be seen twirling in windows throughout downtown promoting this weekend’s presentation of “The Nutcracker.” While children from local schools searched for their ornaments on the tree, local organizations served refreshments, sang carols, gave horse-drawn carriage rides, and gave out hand warmers.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Emcee “Big Chuck” D’Imperio, right, stands high above a packed crowd that gathered on Main Street this morning to welcome Santa back to Oneonta with big cheers and happy smiles during the annual Santa Parade. Santa will spend the afternoon in his cottage in Muller Plaza, hearing good boys and girls’ Christmas wishes. And once you’ve seen Santa, you can go down to Foothills to see the Gingerbread Jubilee and join in the cookie fun. At right, Brittany Boyke, Davenport, helps her little penguin – daughter Alexis Merwin – decorate a delicious holiday treat. The fun at Foothills continues until 3 p.m.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Pictures With Santa

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VISIT SANTA – Noon – 4 p.m. Visit & Take pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Noon-2 take pictures with pets, 2-4 pictures without pets. Santa’s Cottage, Pioneer Park, Cooperstown. 607-547-9983 or visit cooperstownchamber.org/santas-house-in-cooperstown/

PRESENTATION – 6 p.m. Otsego Pride Alliance presents “Know Your Rights” with speaker from NYS government on LGBTQ+ rights in NYS, what to do when those are violated. Unitarian Universalist Soceity of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-3491 or visit www.facebook.com/UUSOneonta/

CLICK FOR MORE HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Adorn-A-Door Wreath Festival

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WREATH FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Find beautiful wreathes up for auction at Adorn-A-Door Wreath Festival. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com

FORGE & FEAST – 7 p.m. Come dressed as a viking with a dish for the feast at 7:30, followed by LARPing competition to determine greatest warrior. Oneonta Teen Center, 4 Academy St., Oneonta. 607-433-2009.

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