January 27, 2022

Events to spread Christmas spirit downtown

Kevin Conlon/city editor

Lee Benson, a member of the 1890 House Museum’s board of directors, walks past a Christmas tree decorated in the dining room of the mansion on Tompkins Street in Cortland.

The halls were certainly decked at the 1890 House Museum on Tompkins Street in Cortland this week as volunteers prepared for the annual Wassail Party, one of several seasonal activities planned this weekend in the greater Cortland area.

Christmas trees were decorated in several rooms and garland hung inside the Victorian-era house built by industrialist Chester F. Wickwire, who owned a sprawling mill on south Main Street.

Wassail is a traditional cider-based drink, which will be served at the event.

“We should have a lot of people,” said Sandy Panzanella, one of the museum trustees. “It’s open to the community.”

Panzanella said she and other board members are preparing desserts for the party.

“Everyone on the board is working on making some kind of cookies,” she said.

The event, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, will feature wassail, baked goods and Christmas songs in the mansion.

Admission is free.

The museum is among several stops for the Holiday on Main Street event, which will have Christmas trees decorated along the sidewalks in the shadows of several Victorian-era buildings. The trees are sponsored by businesses. Visitors can vote on their favorite and walk around Main Street to shop.

Craft vendors will sell their wares from 5 to 8 p.m. today in the former Family Video store at 64 N. Main St. for Holiday on Main Street. They’ll be there again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, then repeat the cycle on Dec. 17 and 18.

Joe Vega, the event coordinator for Holiday on Main Street, said the event is being held for the first time on Main Street after it was held last year at Overlook Farms in Homer by Lori and Geoffrey Tyrell, who own the farm, and Fat Jack’s BBQ on Tompkins Street in Cortland.

“We did this last year and we are doing it similar this year,” Vega said. “We would like to encourage people to come downtown to eat and shop and more importantly to bring people together for Christmas.”

Proceeds will go to help support the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse.

A right jolly old elf is likely to make appearances across the greater Cortland area at such locations as Holiday on Main Street, an auto dealer and a juice bar.

Among other events this weekend:

  • Heroes and Villains in the Corset Building on East Court Street in Cortland is hosting December Guests, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. The event is a throwback comic convention, featuring the guests and their talents. Admission is free.
  • The Cortland Country Music Park is hosting its annual Christmas party with Doc Weismore with Real Country from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. There is a fee to attend.