ONEONTA — Holiday lights glimmer downtown along Main Street and Santa’s Cottage awaits his arrival, which is set for Saturday in a parade that will kick off weeks of holiday events.
Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Christmas tree lighting, free movies and a train bedecked with lights are among highlighted activities presented by businesses and organizations.
The Holiday Parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, according to Main Street Oneonta, a nonprofit group promoting business in Oneonta.
“It’s actually a pretty nice little parade,’’ Lt. Douglas Brenner of the Oneonta Police Department said Monday. Participants will line up on Grand Street, he said, and to accommodate the parade, Main Street will be closed at 10 a.m. Saturday from Grand Street to Chestnut Street, he said.
After the parade, Santa will be available at his cottage downtown to visit with children and hear their wishes for Christmas gifts. MSO also will present a free screening of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town’’ at the Oneonta Theatre, 47 Chestnut. St., at 1 p.m.
Santa is set to arrive, perhaps with some rain or snow. According to the National Weather Service in Binghamton, the forecast for Saturday calls for a 30 percent chance of rain and snow showers and partly sunny skies with a high temperature of 39 degrees.
MSO announced other holiday activities, including:
• The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train of Lights will be on track to raise food, money and awareness in the fight against hunger, according to MSO’s Facebook page, and the train is set to stop near Neahwa Park in Oneonta at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. Entertainers this year will be The Claytones and Canadian County Music Hall of Famer Tracey Brown. Organizers ask that spectators donate food and money to support the local Opportunities for Otsego Holiday Basket Program.
• Free movies at the Oneonta Theatre: “Elf” at 11 a.m. Dec. 1 and “The Polar Express” at 1 p.m. Dec. 8.
• The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6. Gingerbread Contest winners will be announced. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present, and reindeer, horse-drawn wagon rides, dancers and refreshments will be featured.
• Lunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Ruffino’s Pizzeria, 222 Main St., from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. To register, call 432-7400.
• Santa Claus will be at his cottage Friday, Dec. 14 and 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mrs. Claus is offering several free activities. She will present holiday stories for children of all ages at The Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 9.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8, Mrs. Claus will offer ornament-making and learning “Elfin Secrets’’ in the Shoppes at Main and Ford. Two one-hour sessions are available. For more information, call 432-8871, ext. 208, or send an email to Mrsclausoneonta@gmail.com.
Decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus is planned for 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 15, during the Oneonta Farmers’ Market in the walkway between Main Street and the municipal garage.