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Holiday Traditions

Santa visits with children at Willard Memorial Chapel in Auburn before reading a book during Holiday Traditions in 2016.

Auburn's annual Holiday Traditions event sees the city's historic and cultural sites open their doors every second Sunday in December for seasonal activities and other attractions.

All events take place Sunday, Dec. 9, and are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Here's what's happening this year:

• See the "Seeing Equal Rights in NYS" exhibit and sample products made in New York from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, 25 South St., Auburn. For more information, visit or call (315) 258-9820.

• Vote on your favorite from more than 90 decorated Christmas trees in the annual "Festival of Trees" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ward W. O'Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum and Dr. Joseph F. Karpinski Sr. Educational Center, 6880 Route 38A, Owasco. There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides, music, Santa arriving at 12:30 p.m. to meet children, Christmas cookie decorating, decoration making, contests, guided tours and more. For more information, call (315) 252-7644.

• See holiday decor with seasonal arrangements by local florists from noon to 5 p.m. at the Seward House Museum, 33 South St., Auburn. The museum will also host artisans, live music, stories of Seward Christmases and more on the only day of the year the full house is open for self-guided exploration. For more information, visit or call (315) 252-1283.

• Write notes of holiday cheer to be sent to Fort Drum and see holiday cards and love letters between World War I servicemen and their loved ones at home in "1918: A Century Later" from noon to 5 p.m. at the Cayuga Museum, 203 Genesee St., Auburn. Cards will be provided. For more information, visit or call (315) 253-8051.

• Make a North Star ornament and a toy of yesteryear, learn how to navigate by the stars and learn about Harriet Tubman from noon to 5 p.m. at the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, 180 South St., Auburn. For more information, visit or call (315) 882-8060.

• See the "Quilts=Art=Quilts" exhibit from noon to 5 p.m. at the Schweinfurth Art Center, 205 Genesee St., Auburn. For more information, visit or call (315) 255-1553.

• Auburn's Capt. Jack will present "A Pirate's Night Before Christmas" at 1 p.m. and organist Jim Main Jr. will perform holiday favorites on a historic Steere & Turner organ at 3 p.m. at Willard Memorial Chapel, 17 Nelson St., Auburn. For more information, call (315) 252-0339 or visit

Auburn Public Theater will host a performance of "Scrooge: The Musical" at 2 p.m. at the theater, 8 Exchange St., Auburn. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for children 12 and younger. For more information, visit or call (315) 253-6669.

• The Auburn Chamber Orchestra will present "A Joyful Christmas" from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at a festively decorated St. Francis of Assisi Church, 299 Clark St., Auburn. The program will include "Stille Nacht (Silent Night)," "Carol of the Bells," "Radetzky-Marsch" and more holiday music, featuring Southern Cayuga and Ithaca College graduate and soprano Laura Libby McCall. A $5 donation is requested at the door. A recording of the concert is supported by a grant from the Skaneateles Area Arts Council. For more information, visit

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