I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’ve found myself especially sentimental this Christmas season and it's only just begun. Maybe it’s because I’ve always taken for granted various Christmas activities and never really stopped to think about what life would be like if we were told we couldn’t celebrate those activities in the ways we always have.

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If you had told me this time last year that the sidewalks of Montrose wouldn’t be crammed with families waiting with anticipation to watch the United Fire Company Parade of Lights, I would have laughed because Montrose is famous for its parades of all sizes. People show up by the hundreds for Montrose parades. Except that this year they didn’t.

I found myself glancing around at those who went out to watch vehicles decked out in lights travel down Church Street and noticed that families were huddled together, quite distanced from others. Neighbors talked to each other through facemasks from several feet away. Nearly a year into this pandemic and I still felt sadness in my heart at the ways the world has changed. As I looked at my little boy I vowed that I would do whatever I could to make this Christmas season feel as normal as possible for him.

Montrose isn’t the only small town with big events. Across the border into New York about an hour from Montrose is another charming town -  Afton. Afton has really shown up this year and gotten creative with ways to keep the holidays magical.

While the annual Afton Christmas Parade has been canceled this year, the village still welcomes the community and beyond to spread some holiday cheer with its Upside Down Parade Day on Saturday, December 5.

Afton’s Upside Down Parade Day will feature a variety of live and virtual events. The live events will kick off at 8 a.m. at Baristacrats Coffee Bar on Main Street where there will be a variety of activities from a Cookie Swap to photo ops with Christmas characters. Also at 8 a.m. will be breakfast without Santa until 11 a.m. At 9 a.m. The Polar Express will arrive at the Afton Inn where there will be a tree decorating. At noon, PAIX Salon will host a Santa Quarantined in Candy Land where children who visit will receive a toy. A drive-in dance show will be held in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Afton at 6:30 p.m.

See what other events will be taking place in Afton during Upside Down Parade Day by visiting the Afton in Winter website. Please also note that each location will be following all New York State and Department of Health regulations.

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