OSWEGO, NY – The official countdown to Christmas starts on Nov. 29.
Light Up, Oswego will be a community wide all-day event immersing the Port City in the holiday spirit at myriad locations.
Events and activities are being planned for 10 a.m. through 7 p.m. that day.
A variety of community members, in cooperation with the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, have spent several months planning the inaugural Light Up, Oswego.
Santa Claus and his helpers will be very busy throughout the entire day.
The Jolly Old Elf will help promote Toys for Tots’ “A Day of Sharing.”
The event, at the Lake Ontario Conference Center on East First Street, will feature many activities.
The Oswego Fire Department will chauffer Santa to the conference center; and there will be pictures with Santa when you bring a toy to donate to the Oswego County Toys for Tots.
From 10 to 11 a.m., children with disabilities will be able to enjoy a quieter sensory time with Santa.
The main activities, including photos with Santa, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oswego’s Bookmobile will also be at the center during that time.
Everyone is invited to the “Day of Sharing” at the conference center and is asked to bring a new, unwrapped, toy to donate to Toys for Tots. All donations go to help families right here in Oswego County.
For more information, visit www.adayofsharing.com
The city’s Christmas tree lighting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Civic Plaza, next to City Hall, to coincide with another visit from Santa Claus.
Music starts at 5 p.m., provided by the Oswego High School Chamber Singers.
Santa will be escorted by Fire and Police departments.
Following the lighting, there will be time for children to meet with Santa inside City Hall (outside the Council Chambers) and share their Christmas wish lists.
November 29 is also Small Business Saturday.
Several downtown area Oswego restaurants and businesses will be open throughout the day as well as after the tree lighting, offering holiday shopping and dining specials.
There will be free admission to the Marine Museum and Richardson-Bates House Museum from 1 – 5 p.m.
The Oswego County Historical Society maintains and operates the Richardson-Bates House Museum, a historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places on East Third Street.
The society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich history of the county.
The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego is located on Oswego’s West First Street Pier.
Find more programming and information online at www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com, www.facebook.com/hlwmm or www.facebook.com/oswegolh
St. Joseph’s Church on West First Street will be the site of a huge holiday shopping expo. There will be many vendors as well as assorted activities for children.
The expo will run from noon until 4 p.m.
And don’t leave after 4 p.m. as there will be more activities leading up to the tree lighting! Plenty of downtown vendors and entertainers will be on hand throughout the late afternoon.
The second annual holiday children’s parade will start at 4:45 p.m. at West First and Lake streets and will end at Civic Plaza at approximately 5:15 p.m. Members of the Oswego Police and Fire departments will ensure the youngsters have a safe route.
The annual tree lighting ceremony will kick off at 5:15 p.m. with the announcement of the holiday poetry contest winners, music and a welcome by Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen.
Santa Claus will arrive at 6 p.m. to greet the crowd and help light the tree.
The Light Up, Oswego Neighborhood Contest will be conducted after sunset; winners will be announced later.
And, don’t worry about having to walk in the cold to all the different venues. Walker Enterprise is offering free bus service all day.
More information can be found at www.lightuposwego.com
Interested vendors and volunteers should contact the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at (315) 349-3451.
Upcoming holiday events include the 2014 Gingerbread House Contest. All entries must be at least 50 percent gingerbread.
Gingerbread houses of all shapes and sizes will be displayed at the Bakery at Canal Commons, 193 W. First St., up until the Late Night Shopping event on December 12. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. that day.
There are three categories: Children 12 and under, Adults ages 12 and up, and professional in the food service industry. Entries are due by Dec. 8.
And, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum’s annual Christmas at Sea Open House is set for Dec. 14 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Santa will arrive at 2 p.m. aboard a Coast Guard cutter.
There will be festive model train displays (courtesy of the Oswego Valley Railroad Association), kids’ activities, theme trees throughout the building and more.
For information, call 342-0480.