In the late 1990s, Hudson Hall (then Hudson Opera House) took the first tentative step to introduce a wintertime Warren Street festival to draw visitors to Hudson, stimulate holiday shopping, and create community goodwill. In the 27 years since, with or without the cooperation of Mother Nature, Winter Walk has enlarged to cover the full length of Warren Street, layered on many types of entertainment, provided recognition for outstanding window designs, and capped the festivities with a rousing fireworks display.

This year marked the return of the beloved Santa’s Village buildings–newly refurbished–to the Seventh Street Park, an abundance of dance and vocal performances indoors and out, costumes galore, pony rides, and street vendors selling food, gifts and mementos. An estimated 10,000 people from around the area thronged the downtown area, flowing in and out of Hudson Hall for exhibitions of student artwork from around the county and a seemingly ceaseless program of performance arts.

Beginning with the long gradual renovation and reuse of the Opera House, HRBT Foundation has been a consistent supporter of Hudson Hall, focusing most recently on a 2-year grant award intended to help solidify the future of Winter Walk. Going forward, the early December festival will be co-produced by a new partnership drawing on local government, business, and the cultural/arts community in a shared commitment to ensure Winter Walk’s continued success. Hudson Hall will continue to manage the event and provide street performers and attractions, but will be joined by the City of Hudson coordinating the involvement of city agencies helping with the event; the Hudson Business Coalition coordinating marketing efforts; and the Hudson Development Corporation, Columbia Economic Development Corporation, and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce coordinating outreach and financial support for the event.

The new coalition of presenting partners will collaborate fully in presenting the 2024 edition of Winter Walk.