Baseball and Christmas combined in one location

Sunday, November 20, 2005

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- The National Baseball Hall of Fame is open year-round, but Cooperstown's "Candlelight Evening" takes place just once a year.

This year, the holiday tradition -- which includes a visit from Santa, wagon and sleigh rides, caroling and children's activities -- is scheduled for Dec. 18. The centerpiece of the event is the illumination by candlelight of the 19th-century homes and shops in the Farmers' Museum.

Many private homes in Cooperstown also adorn their doors with unusual decorations -- 4-foot-wide medallions inspired by Italian Renaissance art, with sun-face plaques or giant pine cones as centerpieces. Just outside the village at the junction of Route 28 and Toddsville Road, a 35-foot sugar maple twinkles with 16,000 clear bulbs.

Visitors coming for the candlelight celebration may take a free shuttle from the Clark Sports Center on Susquehanna Avenue, The Otesaga hotel on Route 80 or the Yellow Trolley Lot on Lake Road, Route 80, to the Farmers' Museum.

And if you're planning to visit the baseball museum, which underwent a renovation and expansion last summer, note that it's open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Cooperstown is about an hour from Albany. For help in planning a visit, contact (888) 875-2969 or go to http://www.cooperstowngetaway.com.

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