With the Holidays rapidly approaching, there is no shortage of holiday events and happenings to enjoy! However, some are much more gay than others. That said, here’s a short list of some of our favorites for you to consider checking out this coming weekend!

Friday, December 3rd

Christmas in Little Italy; Poughkeepsie @ 8pm
Start the activities on Friday night, December 3rd when Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church in Poughkeepsie, will open its doors  for “Christmas In Little Italy”.  This music concert will celebrate downtown Poughkeepsie’s Italian-American culture. Admission to this event is by suggested donation of $5, and is  open to all to attend. Beginning at 8pm, performers will include the Bernstein Bard Quartet, Soprano Katie DeFiglio, Saxist & Composer Salvo Guttilla, Jazz Vocalist Bill Durham, Soprano Andrea Burgers and other guest musicians. While in Poughkeepsie’s Little Italy, be sure to stop in to the newly opened (and gay-owned!) Delafield’s Restaurant or the fabulous Cafe Bocca for a beverage or dessert.

Saturday, December 4th

Hudson’s Winter Walk 2010, 5pm – 9pm
That sound you hear is the holiday season shifting into gear in Hudson, NY. The annual extravaganza known as Winter Walk bursts on the scene at 5 pm Saturday evening, December 4th on Hudson’s historic main street and beyond. Joining the festivities this year will be Hudson’s very-own Trixie Starr – as the ex-Mrs. Claus. Trixie will be making herself available for photos from between 5-8pm, at pm Wine Bar at 119 Warren Street. Stick around for Christmas Carol Karaoke with the Cheeky Cricket from 8-11pm. A portion of the night’s proceeds from pm will be donated to the Hudson Pride Foundation for next year’s parade.

Produced by the Hudson Opera House, the 14th annual Winter Walk is a hip and cheerful street festival that combines the traditional and the quirky to present a unique take on the holiday season. Winter Walk is acknowledged as a major holiday event in the Hudson Valley, with visitors coming from near and far to join Hudson residents in the celebration. Some arrive well before the announced hour to get a good parking spot and a head start on viewing Hudson shop owners’ famous holiday windows.

Unveiling of the Holiday Windows at bluecashew; Rhinebeck, 2:30pm – 5:30pm
bluecashew invites you to join them on Saturday, December 4th from 2:30pm – 5:30pm for a special unveiling of their Holiday Windows – created by set designer and artist, Paul O’Connor. Based in Bloomington, NY for the past 11 years, Paul is a master carpenter and instructor at Vassar College in the Theater Department. Immediately following the event is a yearly must – the Rhinebeck Sinterklaas parade.

Spruce Design + Decor Holiday Open House; High Falls @ 3pm – 6pm
John Krenek of Spruce Design and Decor invites you to join him and his partner, Jamie, for an afternoon of shopping and cocktails in the heart of fabulous High Falls. Sprice is filled with a bounty of gifts for all, and you’ll even receive a 20% discount on all purchases made during the event!

Rhinebeck Sinterklass Festival @ 10:30am – 8pm
With an entire day full of activities; including the Bindlestiff Family Circus, the Starlight Parade at night, and so many other highlights, the Sinterklass Festival starts early in the day on Saturday, and goes well into the evening. For all the details, check out their website.

Holiday Tours of Wilderstein; Rhinebeck @ 1pm – 4pm

Capture the spirit of the yuletide at Wilderstein Historic Site.  As is Wilderstein’s quintessential tradition, florists and designers have transformed the Wilderstein mansion into a magical holiday spectacular. Many of the rooms display period ornaments and appear as though the Suckley Family, Wilderstein’s longtime residents, just stepped out momentarily.  Others showcase modern and even unexpected seasonal decor, juxtaposed dramatically against the home’s Victorian backdrop. Wilderstein’s holiday tours kick-off the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend and continue every weekend, from 1 to 4 PM, through the end of December.  There is no better time to visit than this.  For more information, go to www.wilderstein.org

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS @ Dutchess Community College; Poughkeepsie @ 8pm
Dutchess Community College’s Masquers’ Guild presents: Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS 2010. The event, produced by the Masquers’ Guild, features various acts of Broadway theatre. The money raised from the Masquers’ Guild production will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. It’s a continuing dedicated response from the American Theatre Community to an urgent worldwide health crisis, and can play a vital role in helping to sustain hundreds of organizations helping families and people living with the HIV virus and other catastrophic health conditions in almost every state. Featuring: Variety of Acts from Broadway & The DCC Jazz Band. Performances to be held on Friday, 12/3, 8pm, Saturday, 12/4, 8pm, & Sunday, 12/5, 2pm

In the James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall. Free, donations suggested. All profits goes to BC/EFA Charity.

Sunday, December 5th

Vanderbilt Mansion Holiday Open House, 11am – 4:30pm
Join the gaggles of local residents for the most fabulous Holiday Open House ever; The one at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY; Sunday, December 5, 2010 from 11:00am until 4:30pm. No, Anderson Cooper won’t be there, but with more stately Vanderbilt fabulousness than you can shake a stick at, we guarantee that there will be throngs of the Valley’s LGBTQ Community there.

Admission is free; although parking is limited, so carpooling is suggested.