By Kerry Butrick Dowling
The spirit of the holiday season is coming alive in the Hudson Valley, and one of the most popular holiday traditions for local residents is Eggbert and his winter wonderland at Devitt’s Nursery and Supply in New Windsor. The iconic popular talking egg is one of the area’s most beloved holiday traditions for all ages. For the 2022 holiday season, Eggbert and his hard working team of Devitt’s elves have new special surprises ready to delight the young and old.
Annie Shupe, Marketing Manager at Devitt’s, was eager to share the special holiday magic getting ready to be unveiled this holiday season starting on Black Friday. Each year, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 guests visit the winter wonderland. Shupe shared that Eggbert came to Devitt’s in 1971, when the previous owner Jack Devitt bought him from Cornell University. Eggbert was originally used by Cornell University to promote the agricultural program. “Prior to Eggbert, the Devitt Family put on a small Christmas trail with animals, but Eggbert really stole the spotlight. Much like the Devitt Family, Hudson Valley families just fell in love with Eggbert and it became a tradition right away,” shared Shupe.
This year, guests will be immersed in new holiday exhibits as they navigate the trails of the winter wonderland. The grandest new addition is Clair, a second egg that the Devitt’s team envisioned years ago, but sadly the pandemic put her journey to the winter wonderland on hold. The story of Clair is nothing short of holiday magic as she begins her new life in the Hudson Valley with her friend Eggbert.
“The Devitt’s owners have wanted to bring something new to the trail for a few years. Clair was in the thralls of Hollywood and was very content with working for Santa. She absolutely loves getting toys out to the children of the world, but in a correspondence with Eggbert in 2019, she had mentioned that she missed Christmas in the Hudson Valley. There is just something so magical about Christmas in New York. So after much convincing and consideration, Eggbert and the owners agreed that Clair would finish her contract up in the North Pole and come home. Santa was sad to see her leave, but was very happy she would be working side by side with Eggbert to spread the joy of Christmas,” said Shupe.
In addition to Clair who will be showcased in her own exhibit, the winter wonderland has other new exhibits including a chicken show with a classic truck and a brand new slot car track where customers can try their hand at racing. Farm animals, Santa and other holiday displays will also be on display. Shupe also said Devitt’s poured new concrete to make the trail ADA compliant for all guests.
In recent years, merchandise was in demand by visitors and Eggbert enthusiasts, so Devitt’s opened up the holiday shop to include Eggbert merchandise. “Devitt’s is just honored that families want to bring Eggbert into their homes. The ornaments have been a hit from the beginning, and I think getting the new Eggbert ornament every year is a part of the Christmas tradition. Devitt’s is just so happy that people get as ‘eggcited’ as we do about it year after year,” said Shupe. Shupe went on to say that enthusiasts from all over the country and even Canada purchase ornaments off the online store to bring a little piece of the Hudson Valley into their home.
Eggbert’s Holiday Shop is open seven days a week for people to stop in and shop around for Christmas decor, Eggbert merchandise, toys, home decor, snow globes and old world decorations. Adults can also stop at the tasting bar where guests can try the Angry Eggbert IPA crafted by Newburgh Brewing Company releasing on November 17 and, new for this year, a special vintage from Magnanini Winery.
Shupe said the IPA has become something of a collector’s item. Every year they have a new design for the can from their highly creative design team and customers absolutely love what they come up with.
Paul Halayko of Newburgh Brewing Company shared that for the past three years a portion of the proceeds from sales of the Angry Eggbert IPA go towards purchasing trees for families. “This is the third year we are doing this. It started in 2020 when we knew that Christmas might be a tough time financially for a lot of people because of the pandemic. We ask families to reach out to us discreetly if they need a little extra help during the holidays and us buying them a Christmas tree might help make their holiday a little bit better,” he explained.
With the holiday season upon us, Devitt’s is honored and proud to continue the tradition of being a part of the holiday season for families. “Genuinely, and I can speak from experience because my family and I have been visiting Eggbert for over 31 years, it really is the nostalgia of it all. Devitt’s truly puts their customers first and knows just how important and meaningful Christmas on the Farm with Eggbert is, and we never want to disappoint so we always go all out. I think seeing children, and even adults, experience the magic that is Eggbert and Christmas on the Farm-to watch them get so absorbed in it all- is truly what makes the event so special year after year. We’re looking forward to sharing that with everyone this holiday season,” said Shupe.
For more information about Eggbert and Christmas on the Farm including pricing, merchandise and hours of operation, please visit: www.devittsnsy.com.