Troy Victorian Stroll Kicks Off the Holiday Season

Written by on December 4, 2023

Troy Victorian Stroll kicks off the holiday season – by Dean Giagni.

Holiday outfits with reindeer antlers, and Santa hats were joined by raincoats and umbrellas Sunday at the 2023 Troy Victorian stroll. Even though a good portion of the day was shrouded in gray clouds and sometimes heavy rain, the dreary weather did not deter crowds of hundreds from all over the capital district to turn out for this annual Christmas holiday tradition; this year celebrating the bicentennial of the publication of a favorite holiday poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” in the city where it was published.

On the street there was more period dress than I can remember seeing in any year past;

perhaps owing to HBO’s The Gilded Age, shooting in Troy for the last two years. Different costumes and styles, top hats and bowlers, veils and fascinators. Young and old along with groups in more fanciful holiday themes, a group of reindeer, a Grinch, and some elves all in one family. The beautiful fabrics of the period accurate dresses, and waistcoats and shawls, protected by period accurate chivalrous men, holding up giant incongruous colorful golf umbrellas to protect their costumes. One woman wearing a North Face raincoat over her rose adorned dress, guided her daughters over a giant puddle saying, “We wait for this every year. This is our way of getting into the spirit as soon as Thanksgiving is over. We aren’t going to miss it for a little rain.”

A Christmas market in the atrium was as busy as ever rain or shine. There was musical and magical entertainment inside and outside. Guitars, chorus, bells and then, in the distance you finally hear it; the Victorian Stroll tradition children and adults wait for every year, the appearance of Saxo Claus. He toots out “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, stopping some little ones in their tracks in disbelief and then having them pull their parents along to follow him down the street like the Christmas Pied Piper that he is. The Parkers of Ballston Spa with their three-year-old said, “This is his first time seeing a real Santa up close and understanding it. I think he’s in a little bit of shock!”

Occasionally, the rain would pick up and you could hear it beat down harder on the umbrellas and the awnings as people rushed in and out of the food stalls and boutiques in downtown Troy. They greeted each other with the smiling grimace and a quick look up to the gray skies, as if to say – yeah, it’s not the best day for this but, it is the holidays…

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