NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street to Host
First Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting

NEW PALTZ, NY (December 5, 2014) – Historic Huguenot Street will host a Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday, December 14, for the first time in the organization’s history. The live tree, generously donated by Deyo descendants, is planted on the historic Deyo House front lawn. The site is believed to be one of the village’s first gathering places.

 The idea for an annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting was originally conceived by Huguenot Street supporters Marianne Murray and Rich Rowley, who also made the purchase of the tree possible.  “It was clear to us that New Paltz needed a safe, family-friendly place to gather for the holidays, and what better place than our local treasure – Historic Huguenot Street,” said Marianne Murray.  “We are thrilled to support what we hope to be a much anticipated holiday tradition in our local community.”

 “This is a great opportunity for residents to experience the sense of community that has existed in New Paltz for centuries,” explained Mary Etta Schneider, President and Board Chair. “We hope that our local community will enjoy and experience old New Paltz and its original Main Street through free, public events like this one.”

 Carolers from SUNY New Paltz will kick off the event with a medley of holiday songs beginning at 4 pm. A number of significant community members will be in attendance, including Village of New Paltz Mayor Jason West and Town of New Paltz Councilman Daniel Torres. Among the notable attendees will also be Santa Claus – who will arrive with special holiday treats.  A reception will be held in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center following the tree lighting. This event is free and open to the public.

 The Community Christmas Tree Lighting is a part of Historic Huguenot Street’s larger holiday programming season, including special tours, interpretations, and displays. Christmas Tours of the decorated Jean Hasbrouck and Deyo Houses will be available every half hour on Sunday, December 14, from 1 – 2 pm and in the evening from 5 – 7 pm. At 3 pm, beloved historical musician Linda Russell will perform a concert of 19th century Christmas carols at the Crispell Memorial French Church. Reservations are recommended for this event.

 “Linda Russell is a regular guest performer on Huguenot Street and it is always a privilege to experience one of her live concerts,” said Kara Gaffken, Director of Public Programming. “She is a truly engaging balladeer with the ability to bring history to life for children and adults alike.”

 Tickets grant admission to both a December 14 Christmas Tour and Linda Russell’s Victorian Christmas Concert. Members, seniors, military, and students $20. Non-members $25. Tickets may be purchased online at

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today. 


Kaitlin Gallucci
Communications & Marketing Manager
(845) 255-1660