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December 06, 2016
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Step Back In Time - Canal Towne Emporium

Every holiday is represented at the Canal Towne Emporium with unique gifts from around the world, many crafted by local artisans.
TRR photo by Jonathan Fox

Master designer Eckhart was seen climbing ladders and putting final touches on trees as the brothers talked about the family’s history. Asked how the traditions have grown through the years, Lyman Holmes grew excited when pointing out Canal Towne’s newest installation, dubbed “Dance of the Light.” Now in its fifth year, the shoppe presents a music and light display presented nightly outside of the building. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and shown once a night, the show, which features thousands of lights dancing to coordinated music, is “different every year... and lasts for twelve to fifteen minutes.” The holiday display was “the brainchild of Wurtsboro electrician Michael Roosa,” Holmes informed. “Michael began this spectacular display at his own home, but it grew so large in scope that he came to us and asked if he could move the entire operation to Canal Towne.”

Thrilled to become the new home of the illuminated holiday presentation, the brothers readily agreed and a new tradition was born. “Over a mile of wires is involved in the process of creating this magical display,” Gary Holmes observed. “It takes about three weeks, working around the clock to make the store and light show come to life.” Once complete, a visit to Canal Towne is an incredible “step back in time” and offers the public an opportunity to embrace “old-fashioned service, holiday treats and country pleasures” wrapped in a glittery, homespun, stunning display.

“We search for, and discover, hand made gifts and furnishings from all over the world” the brothers shared “but we also take great pride in presenting many fine creations that have been crafted locally by American artisans.” Scouring the countryside for unique offerings, the Holmes brothers begin their search in January every year and make every effort to present previously undiscovered items to their customers, who have come to expect surprises through the years. A visit to Canal Towne will reveal thousands of ornaments, hand-made Santas and wreaths as well as Hanukkah items, hand crafted furniture and decorative accessories.

Open 7 days a week, the Shoppe is located at 107 Sullivan St in Wurtsboro. For more information, call 845/888-2100 or visit