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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

New & Now: Holiday 2023

Booze at The Egg, wintertime wonderlands in Lake George, and a career-making Emmy win headline the holiday season in the Capital Region.

Ice, Ice Baby
After struggling to keep last year’s ice castles from melting during an unusually warm start to winter, Lake George has a brand-new cold-weather activity coming our way—in fact, it’s doubling up. The first experience actually comes to us from the creative forces behind the ice castles. Opening Friday, November 24 and located next door to Fort William Henry (at Festival Commons), “Winter Realms: The Wintertainment Destination” enchants visitors of all ages with ice-skating, dazzling lights, igloos, an ice bar and Santa’s Village. Complementing this winter extravaganza is December’s “Lake George Winter’s Dream.” Hit up the Fort William Henry fortress for a multimedia experience celebrating the magic of the holiday season via light, sound, music and video.

Grand Old Flag
Decades after making her first movie—a film about autumn in Saratoga Springs—in a Saratoga High School communications class, Spa City native Sharon Liese has made it to the pinnacle of a filmmaker’s career. This past October, she won an Emmy for The Flagmakers, the short documentary she co-directed and co-produced. “It’s about the largest manufacturer of American flags and flag poles in the United States,” says Liese, who now resides in Kansas City but says she still identifies as a Saratogian. “Most of their employees are refugees and immigrants, so it was a perfect environment to explore what it means to be an American today and Americans’ relationship to the flag.” The Flagmakers is currently available to stream on Disney+.

Old Daley, New Digs
The former home of New World Bistro Bar is being given a fresh, new life this holiday season. At press time, after 10 months of renovations on the space, the Old Daley Custom Catering team was gearing up to open the doors of The Delaware, a new restaurant by Daley’s on Yates chef Elliot Vogel, in early November. “The menu will nod to the previous owners, so local and global flavors, steaks, seafood, vegetarian items and small plates,” Old Daley’s Steph Pettit says. “It’ll be a twist on Daley’s on Yates, which is our other restaurant, but we won’t have any duplicate items.” Private event spaces make The Delaware a great place for a holiday party, and gift cards serve as the perfect stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life.

Home Sweet Home
Level up your gingerbread house game this holiday season, all while eliminating the baking and hours of shopping for the perfect candy décor. Hudson’s Nine Cakes ships its gourmet Gingerbread House Kit all over the Capital Region (pre-order online in November; pick-up available), and comes with everything you need to create your own Pinterest-worthy masterpiece. The $65 kits include two bags of royal icing to secure your house to its base (not provided), decorate your rooftops and (of course) “glue” on all of that delicious holiday candy—think peppermints, candy belts, little gummies and more. Worried you’re not creative enough? The Nine Cakes bakers have included all the ideas and tips you’ll need to make a gingerbread house that’s too pretty to eat. (And if you do dig in, we won’t tell!)                

Photo by M. Suhail

Sip Sip Hooray
No more chugging your beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverage before the curtain goes up at The Egg—the performing arts center now allows beverages inside the theater. The crown jewel of the Albany skyline has never allowed food and drink inside its performance space, but now beverages—which are served in single-serve, non-glass containers—are welcome. (Distracting snack-munching is still a no-no.) The rule change comes from The Egg’s brand-new executive director, Diane Eber, who hit the ground running to make shows at the venue a more comfortable experience. Opened in 1978, the performing arts center known for bringing a plethora of dance companies to the Capital Region was the last of the major local theater venues to allow drinks inside. Bravo, Diane.

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