Photos: Christmas and snow blanket Altamont

“Santa’s here, Santa’s here!” screamed the children gathered by the train track in Altamont as Santa rolled into town, culminating the annual Victorian Holiday Celebration. Inside the boxcar, tots whispered their wishes to the jolly old elf.

Earlier on Sunday, animals reigned as George Pratt’s horse, Rebel, and Toby, the corgi, went nose to nose after Toby had his picture taken with Santa at Altamont Country Values. Pratt offered horse rides to young and old. Dressed for an ugly sweater party Annie, the beagle, wearing a Christmas-tree hat, poses with Santa for her picture.

Curious about the words to Christmas carols being sung at the Altamont Reformed Church during the living Nativity, a little girl, while wearing her warm rabbit-ear muffs and pink gloves, tries to open up the program so she can sing.

The Star of Bethlehem is held aloft by angel Natalie Drahzal as Steve Parker, Kenny Adams, and David Lasselle play the roles of the three wise men. Kelly Davey, portraying Mary, sings as she holds one of her twin sons, Thomas Person, during the live Nativity at the Altamont Reformed Church on Sunday. She quipped that his brother, Andrew, who was in the crowd, was the understudy for the role of Jesus.

Although a foot of new-fallen snow kept some away, those who attended the annual event, sponsored by Altamont Community Tradition, had a festive time in the winter wonderland.

More Guilderland News

When twice the number of people expected showed up to take Civil Service tests at Farnsworth Middle School, the overflow parked in frozen fields that thawed as the day warmed.

Village taxes won't increase next year due to changes in health-insurance premiums and employee turnover.

"It's really a philosophical question," says Principal Thomas Lutsic of boosting grades for students in advanced courses and school leaders are divided on the issue.