The small upstate New York town of Sharon Springs has hosted 3 annual Victorian Festivals, but this is the first one we have had the pleasure of attending.
We awoke to a crisp cool morning with a fresh coating of snow giving this Victorian Christmas Festival a magical touch. A horse and buggy carriage ride departed from The New York House, a quaint bed and breakfast around the block from Main Street which conveniently was the place we were staying.
I met up with another woman who was checking into the New York House, while my husband and sons went to a neighboring town for a late breakfast. She and I took a walk together into town and stopped at the American Hotel where they were offering $5.00 Bloody Marys (although I opted for the $7.00 Mimosas!).
We then walked around a bit where I was reunited with my husband and sons and we met up with the Sharon Springs local celebrities, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge.
Back at the American Hotel, owners Doug & Garth were preparing for the reading of the Sharon Springs Christmas Chicken story. Doug read the tale about the chicken who didn't cross the road, and told the real reason why, while Garth accompanied on the keyboard. It was hysterical and had us all in stitches!
There were other activities throughout the town including Victorian dance lessons, book signings, singing, and even a classical guitarist. The shops were decorated and open for some serious Christmas shopping.
A new shop just opened in town called Decades. Decades is owned by Roger & Chris Hazard. Roger is the producer/designer on A&E's Sell This House. The showroom was originally a bank, and they had the vault set up exquisitely, featuring a stunningly gorgeous blue chair which is part of their extensive line of customizable furniture. There is a large selection on their website and it is all made in the USA!
The evening was brought to a close with the best costume contests where applause by the crowd determined the winners. Josh and Doug escorted the contestants on their walks in front of the judges.
The last events for the evening were the lighting of the tree and the classical guitarist at the New York House. We missed the tree lighting as we indulged ourselves in a fantastic meal at the 204 Main Bar & Bistro, our favorite restaurant in the area! The food is always fantastic, service is great and the company is terrific! And we were able to meet up with some friends from Cooperstown which made the evening perfect!
Norm, the chef, really outdid himself with the appetizer of dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped in bacon over baby lettuce. I thought I died and went to heaven. It was one of the best dishes I had ever had!
By the time dinner was over, we had missed the tree lighting, but we were able to catch the last set by the classical guitarist Harry George Pellegrin at the New York House.
Before checking out on Sunday, I walked over to the Beekman Mercantile and picked up some Christmas gifts including their lump of Khol beauty bar, some cheese, a fruitcake, sugared plums, cinnamon honey and some other odds and ends.
Brent was in the shop Sunday morning and we chatted for a bit. When my sons came in, Brent took a photo of us in the shop with his Polka Spot (the Beekman Boys' temperamental llama) iPhone app.
And with our goodies in tow and memories of a fantastically, fun Christmas of yesteryear, we packed up our car and headed back home, making sure our reservations were made for next year!!