Thursday marked the 24th annual Victorian Streetwalk downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. I was in town to support my friend Zoë Lobdell for her first photo show and decided to hit the main avenue a little later. It was packed. Broadway was blocked from 6 to 10 p.m. and thousands of people had gathered despite the frigid cold. If you are not familiar with this American tradition, imagine an old-fashioned street party in celebration of the holiday season. Add people in Victorian costumes caroling the streets, disgruntled reindeers, ice sculptures, musicians, singers, magicians, Santa, and you found yourself a nice way to spend a Thursday evening in town.
Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
Big thanks to this lovely anonymous couple in the header photo. I spotted them from a distance, and this shot would not have been possible without my favorite zoom. I like how it came out, it has a warm, cinematic feel to it. Funny enough, it took them less than 12 hours to find the photo online. Smallbany.
I had taken pictures of the Victorian Stroll in Troy, NY back in 2006, with my old camera, but I was not expecting the same event to be so big in Saratoga Springs, especially on a week night. Most businesses stayed open until 10 p.m. and served free refreshments. I do not drive up north too often but I was not going to pass on a delicious treat at Mrs. London’s. I did not pass twice, to be more accurate.
Almost 50 entertainment sites had been planned for this event, coordinated by Susan Farnsworth, of the Downtown Business Association. New this year were Maryleigh & the Fauves & Betsy and the ByeGons playing music, Alan Edstrom performing magic, Norma Colasessano on the accordion, a Holiday Jazz Ensemble, and Puddles the Clown. I was just here for Puddles the Clown, of course.
Returning this year were Tequila Mockingbirds, Lyl Harper, “The Ice Man”, Karlinda Caldicot on harp. Also returning, The Abundant Life Church, The Whippersnappers, Tim Wechgelaer Victorian Fiddle, Rich Ortiz, Skidmore A Cappella singing groups, Father Christmas, Santa Sax (see below), John & Orion Kribs and more.
A Victorian Streetwalk seems to be the perfect occasion to grow sideburns. I shall keep that in mind.
Ice sculptures by “The Ice Man”, Charles Jones. Not to be confused with the other Iceman, who is actually crazy.
They were singing a few minutes earlier, but that’s a lot harder to capture in a photo.
These two horses were really popular with kids, and with French people with a fisheye lens for the night.
This is Santa Sax. You really want to be careful pronouncing this performer’s name around kids.
There were a couple reindeers on display, unfortunately not loose on the streets. I realize it looks a bit freaked out in this picture above, but I hear these crazy eyes are pretty common.
La la la la laaaa la la la laaaaaa. In this photo above, try to spot who is not really singing :)
A lovely storefront, that I completely botched with my fisheye lens. I had a 15mm that night, and a 70-200mm zoom, not much of a choice unfortunately. There is still time to look at these decorations this winter, on Broadway Av.
I wanted to check the Victorian Stroll in Troy this Sunday, from 11am to 5pm, but I figured that was enough Victorian photos for this winter. To be honest I feel like this event looks more festive at night. Saratoga, I’ll see you next year. You could join.