Ballston Spa ready to ring in the season

Though many have already launched into the Christmas spirit with Black Friday shopping sprees, the Village of Ballston Spa will officially kick off the holidays on Friday, Dec. 5, with its annual holiday parade and tree lighting.

The Ballston Spa Business Professionals Association, who has organized the parade since the 1980s, will put on the festivities, though there will be a few new elements.

The parade is an ongoing tradition here in Ballston Spa, said BSBPA spokesperson Ellen Mottola. "This year, we're trying to tie it in with the theme we did all year, 'Ballston Rocks.'"

To that end, one of the parade's floats will carry the decorated Adirondack rocking chairs that filled the town over the summer during the Ballston Rocks campaign. Though about a dozen will appear in the parade, more than 90 were decorated and about 35 were auctioned off in September, raising $3,500 for the community organization.

The parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Old South Street School, reaching the village proper around 7 p.m. About 30 different groups, from marching bands to local businesses, are signed up for the parade, and groups wishing to march can still contact Mottola at 885-2772.

Following the parade, Santa himself will light the village Christmas tree at Wiswall Park from 7:45 to 8 p.m. The night's festivities will be an extension of the village's First Friday events, so area businesses will be open to revelers.

The parade won't be the end of the weekend's holiday kickoff. The Festival of Trees at the St. Mary's School on Thompson Street runs through the weekend.

Though the event ran in the past, it was just revived last year. The BSBPA has been soliciting local organizations and individuals to donate decorated trees and holiday paraphernalia for sale at the event, whose proceeds will fund community events.

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