Christmas

File photo

Frosty Fest will feature classic holiday traditions such as Christmas caroling and visits with Santa Claus.

RENSSELAER — A new “frosty” event will be happening this holiday season and organizers hope it it become a red-hot success.

Rensselaer Parks Department officials said “Frosty Fest” will be 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Potawatomi Park.

Frosty Fest will include the holiday tree trail lighting, music and caroling — including a staged scene from “A Christmas Carol” — a live Nativity scene, a children’s ornament, sweet treats, a live Santa Claus tracker and visits with Santa at his home’s new location in the park.

Maggie Hickman, secretary of the Greater Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce and a member of Main Street Rensselaer, said the event is happening in place of what would have been this year’s Christmas parade.

“There is no parade this year,” she said. “It wasn’t an issue getting people. It was just something that no organization wanted. ... So we handed it over to the parks and this is what they’ve done with it.”

She said the chamber attempted to hand off the parade to another organization, but no one took up the mantle.

“The parade just wasn’t in our mission statement anymore as something to do and didn’t align with our goals at the chamber anymore,” she said. “So, instead of just saying, ‘We’re not going to do it anymore,’ we tried to offer it to a couple of organizations and no one really wanted to do it. So the parks (department) stepped up, and we’re doing a Christmas event. It’s just not a parade.”

She said there are pros and cons to having a new event in a more enclosed space instead of the usual crowds along Washington Street.

“I think a lot of people like that Santa’s house is going to be in a more secure and safer area for people to be around because Santa’s house will be at Potawatomi Park,” she said. “There have been a couple people who have expressed their disappointment, but overall, once we pull off this event, I think it will be better.”

The new event may also give participants and organizers more control over the elements.

“It’s especially hard in the winter with the weather,” she said, “and we can kind of control (the) area more with tents and heaters than we can along Washington Street.”