Its official, the holiday season has kicked off in the Capital Region with the “Largest Nighttime Parade” in the entire Northeast. NEWS10s Lydia Kulbida MCing the event that brings cheer to the region during this festive time and NEWS10 was at the parade earlier.

The sights and sounds of the holiday season flooding downtown Schenectady

From Washington Ave at SUNY Schenectady all the way up to Lafayette St. 

Thousands showing up to this year’s procession down State Street. County legislator Cathy Gatta says she is thrilled with the boost it will bring to the local economy and small businesses

“Wonderful that the people that we’re going to attract over 15,000 people from the capitol region and Beyond are going to be seeing what downtown Schenectady has to offer there’s some really wonderful shops some great restaurants and just a lot happening in downtown Schenectady”

And yes, we did run into some familiar faces among the joyful and festive parade goers that lined the sidewalk by the dozens.

This is the first year the parade was handled by the leadership of both the city and county of Schenectady. Another first, a Pre-Parade Block Party on Jay and State Streets. Complete with hot cocoa, sweet treats and entertainment from Ryan Cabrera and Girl Blue. Cabrera more than ready to kick off the parade.

“It’s great it’s fun the energy is here I had a dance crew in the front it’s a blast,” said Cabrera.

The entertainer enjoying his time in the Capital Region telling NEWS10 what he was up to while here.

“Got in, went to the casino. I haven’t hit the tables, though. But I saw you have one so you never know what might happen. Just going to enjoy the parade. I’m going to head in on one of the floats and then walk around town and try to stay warm,” said the singer.

Nearly 120 entries in this year’s parade. Including many area fire companies, schools marching bands, dance groups and much, much more. They even had the tallest balloon float, yet. This year coming in at whopping 38 feet tall. Balloon handlers successfully able to maneuver the giant nutcracker with ease.

Some local kids telling NEWS10 why they came out Saturday night.

“My best friend’s sister is going to be in the parade, and she does a color guard so I’m so excited to see her,” said Madeline Phelps.

“I want to see my school band,” said Jaiden Phelps.

And of course, the big moment that all have been waiting for, Santa making his way to town brining excitement to all who came out to watch.