ITHACA, N.Y. — Santa Claus is coming to town this weekend. As is tradition, Santa and his elves will rappel down to the Ithaca Commons on Saturday.

The festivities begin at 11 a.m. Saturday with music by The Next Jennaration and Fall Creek Brass Band. Santa and his elves are expected to rappel from the roof of Center Ithaca down to Trolley Circle on the Ithaca Commons.

From 12:15 to 3 p.m., Santa will be inside Center Ithaca for photos. Don’t forget to bring a camera along. There will also be musical performances by Ithaca Talent Education violinists and other holiday activities. Everything is free and open to the public.

Related: Behind the scenes look at Santa’s annual rappel into Ithaca Commons 

There is another Santa-themed event planned Saturday before the rappel, the annual Santa Run & Elf Walk/Run. The event is sponsored by the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County.

The Santa 5K starts at 9 a.m. at Dewitt Park in Ithaca. A one-mile elf run/walk begins at 9:10 a.m.

Bib pickup and race day registration goes from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Saturday. Costumes are encouraged. All participants receive a Santa hat and a finishers award. Hot chocolate and homemade cookies will be waiting at the finish line.

The cost to enter is $30 for people 20 and older and $25 for people who are 19 and under. The organizers ask that anyone interested in running register by Thursday, Nov. 30, however they will not turn away people who want to register on the day of the event.

To register for the 5K, visit the Ithaca YMCA website.

For more information about Santa’s Arrival in Downtown Ithaca, visit the event page.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.