By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
For the third year in a row, the city of Amsterdam will welcome back its winter get-together on Main Street Saturday.
Dubbed Winter Fest: Main Street Mixer, local officials and volunteers are hoping that the night brings the community together and reminds them of the positive aspects of the city.
"I love Amsterdam. I love the old buildings, the people of the city," said volunteer Winter Fest coordinator Donna Dickerson. "Amsterdam is a good place."
The event was started a few years back by a couple of local sisters and a handful of local Main Street business owners, said Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane.
"They decided it would be wonderful to feature the city in the wintertime as they had done in the spring during the Spring Fling," Thane said. "People need to understand that the businesses down there are active all year round."
Thane said the event brings to light that the city's beauty in the wintertime with all of the decorated streets and homes.
"We're beginning to change the mantra about Amsterdam," she said. "We're beginning to talk about positive activities and events and opportunities here in the city, and that's what's so important."
The mixer will kick off at 4 p.m. down on Main Street Saturday and will run until 8 p.m.
Santa Claus will make his way down to the mixer at 6:30 p.m., Dickerson said, with the help of the Amsterdam Fire Department and children will have the opportunity to sit on his lap and tell him their Christmas wishes.
"I just think the kids need more," Dickerson said of why the mixer was created and continued. "There needed to be more downtown for the kids."
Sharp Shooters Billiards and Sports Pub will offer free billiards games for children and will also be offering free karaoke, along with La Piazza Social Club.
And the Book Hound will feature story telling for the children.
Robert von Hasseln, director of economic development for the city, said the event will also for the first time feature an indoor vendor market which will be housed in the former United Way building.
Jewelry, hats, gloves, candles, cupcakes, and more will be sold at the indoor market, and many vendors will be having free raffles and handing out coupons to the passers-by.
The downtown businesses will have extended hours, von Hasseln added, some with special deals just for that night, and Emmy Lou's will be open and handing out raffles as well.
"You get a chance to do holiday shopping while the kids get to see Santa Claus," von Hasseln said, and a mailbox will be set up for the kids to drop their Christmas letters to Santa.
Dickerson said each one will get a reply from Mrs. Claus herself.
And there will be craft station upon craft station for the kids to enjoy, Dickerson said.
The night is just about bringing the community together and getting more of that positive attitude to come alive in the city, she said.
"It should be a really nice activity. It should be a great few hours down there on Main Street."