This is a Community Announcement from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, please sehdnt ehm to Matt Butler at

Santa Claus will make his annual trip to Downtown Ithaca as part of various holiday season festivities set for this weekend on and near the Commons pedestrian mall. 

The celebration for Santa’s arrival starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a live performance Fall Creek Brass Band, Ithaca’s powerhouse brass band. Plus, the Youth Entrepreneurship Market (YEM) will be selling handcrafted gifts. Then, promptly at noon, Santa Claus will rappel from the rooftop of Center Ithaca with assistance from a band of merry elves. This time-honored tradition, a daring feat completed by volunteers from the Ithaca Police Department’s SWAT Team, is sure to marvel spectators. 

For the event, guests are encouraged to bring their cameras to snap pictures of Santa as he descends from the roof and travels in his sleigh to the Bernie Milton Pavilion for photo ops. These family-friendly activities will be available until 4 p.m. and are free to attend. 

Santa’s arrival is part of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance’s Ice and Lights Festival presented by Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis and organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA). The festival includes energy-packed silent discos from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Locally crafted brews and a hot cocoa station with a decorative toppings selection will be available at the dance parties. Plus, an action-packed Ithaca Sabers Lightsaber demonstration and an invitational tournament is happening from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and a variety of interactive lighting exhibits created by the Beyond Art Collective will also be on display all weekend on the Commons. 

“Santa’s unique arrival is always a huge hit in our community every year. As Santa descends from the top of Center Ithaca, attendees marvel at the sight and are reminded of the holiday magic that comes with this special time of year. Then, the pair of silent discos, lightsaber tournament, and dynamic lighting exhibits and displays we’ll have Friday and Saturday nights will be a fun and entertaining way to wrap up our Ice and Lights Festival. We thank our sponsors for helping to make all of these activities possible,” says Scott Rougeau, DIA special events director. 

In addition to Santa’s arrival, other holiday-related activities this weekend in Downtown Ithaca include a Letters to Santa activity at Alphabet Soup inside of Center Ithaca, the Canopy by Hilton, 324 E. State St., is hosting a holiday pet photos session from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

For more information about these and other downtown Ithaca events, visit, email, or call (607) 277-8679.