CORNING - One of the Corning area’s most time-honored holiday traditions is set to kick off Saturday.
Making its way into its fourth decade, the 42nd annual Sparkle will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday in Downtown Corning.
Thousands of residents and visitors are expected to crowd the shops and streets of Market Street and elsewhere throughout the area. They’ll have plenty to do throughout the weekend with various activities and several street closings to accommodate the festivities.
Some of the weekend’s main activities consist of:
n Holiday Open House from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at The Corning Museum of Glass and The Rockwell Museum. Free admission on both days.
n Open public skating from 1-3 p.m., Family Skating with Rudolph, Frosty and The Grinch from 4-6:30 p.m., and open public skating again from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at The Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink.
n Christmas Wonderland on Ice with open public skating from 1-4 p.m., the Christmas on Ice Show at 4:30 p.m., and Skating with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and the Elves from 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the The Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink.
n Santa in His Crystal House from 12-4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Saturday in Centerway Square. Visits are free, photos are $5 apiece.
There will also be several smaller activities for patrons to do:
n A Holiday Photo Backdrop sponsored by Swan Morss Insurance.
n The 2nd Annual Gingerbread Invitational at The Rockwell Museum.
n A live reindeer display from 5–9 p.m. at Cedar Street and Market Street.
n Special Sparkle family activities from 3-6 p.m. at the Rockwell Museum.
n Free face painting from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Information Center of Corning sponsored by Larson Design Group.
n Free mini train rides sponsored by Irvine Wealth Management, loading at Chestnut and Market Streets.
n Vendors, bell ringers, food, music, and more.
There will also be a handful of activities at the Southeast Steuben County Library for attendees to partake in, with free hot chocolate throughout the day. Activities include the Little Elf Shop presented by CASA of the Southern Tier, and a Food for Fines campaign to benefit the Food Pantry. Children’s activities such as cookie decorating and making holiday ornaments will be available as well.
The library will also be open for extended hours. The doors will be open at the library from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. during the day Saturday, before closing from 4-5 p.m. Following that hour, the library will reopen from 5-9 p.m.
In the spirit of the holiday season, patrons will have the chance to pay off their overdue library fines with food donations.
Capping off the Sparkle festivities on Saturday are fireworks at 9 p.m. over the Chemung River, sponsored by Elmira Savings Bank.
Several streets will be closed on Saturday:
n Market Street (Wall to Bridge)
n Pine Street (Burmese to Tioga)
n Aurene Lane (Wall to Tarantelli Lane)
n Wall Street (Tioga to Burmese)
n Cedar Street (Tioga to Burmese), closed for through traffic from 2–3 p.m. and 4:30–9:30 p.m.
n Tioga Avenue (Parking Garage to M&T Bank entrance)
Free parking will be available throughout the event at the Centerway Parking Facility via Tioga Avenue.
Additional sponsors include Centers Health Care, WENY TV, 95 The Met, and Cool 96.
For more information on Sparkle events and festivities, visit gafferdistrict.com/crystalcitychristmas.