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August 28, 2014
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Here comes Santa Claus!

Nine-year-old David Young admires the trains on Main at CAS. In his opinion, “They’re cool!”


More than a thousand people had shown up the day before, and as I entered, the S.S. Seward Select Choir (www.floridaufsd.org) was caroling for the crowd with exquisite harmonies and setting the tone for the day, which was replete with scores of activities for the kids, a roaring fire, scads of local vendors and of course, Santa himself, who winked at me as I snapped a few pics and chatted with the ebullient DJs from Thunder 102 (www.thunder102.com), who were broadcasting live from the event floor.

I schmoozed with elves, sampled a few treats and discovered that the Hanukkah storybooks had all been snatched up earlier in the day, but felt comfort and joy as I headed out once again, after informing Santa (as if he wasn’t already aware!) that there was a party going on in Hurleyville. The Sullivan County Historical Society (www.sullivancountyhistory.org) was hosting an open house and reception, honoring its 25th-anniversary Theme Tree Exhibit.

Often considered one of the “best kept secrets” in the county, the society is in residence at the Sullivan County Museum (SCHS), located at 265 Main Street in Hurleyville, NY. The annual holiday exhibit is but one of the many programs the society offers throughout the year. Established in 1929 to “document and preserve Sullivan County history,” the SCHS maintains the museum, archives and historical rooms which are designed, constructed and decorated by volunteer members and friends of the society.

A musical performance by the Liberty Free Methodist Choir served as a perfect backdrop for the theme trees, which are sponsored and decorated by a variety of organizations each year, and the beautiful display (I even discovered a tree festooned with dreidels and menorahs!) included contributions from the Frederick A. Cook Society, the Walkill Boys and Girls Club of Monticello, the Sullivan County Bee Keepers Association and Unit 73 of the American Legion Auxiliary, to name but a few. With so many programs and exhibits taking place throughout the year, the holiday exhibit makes it a perfect destination for those who have yet to discover all that the museum has to offer.