By Jann Wiswall
The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce has begun actively promoting “Christmas in Ellicottville” as a season-long event to all of its thousands and thousands of followers. But don’t worry. All your favorite celebrations and activities will continue.
“This is a way to effectively communicate a whole month of activities – whether sponsored by the Chamber or other organizations – to our guests,” said Brian McFadden, the Chamber’s executive director. “There’s no reason to wait until the snow flies for people to enjoy themselves here.”
The Christmas in Ellicottville season will still be kicked off by the traditional lighting of the trees lining the village streets and the three-story tall Village Christmas tree on Friday, Nov. 27. The Chamber has renamed this tradition “the Gift of Lights.”
During this three-day Gift of Lights event, you’ll still be treated to old-school strolling carolers featuring the Ellicottville Sound Chorus. There are also horse-drawn wagon rides, breakfast and fire truck rides with Santa and loads of other interactive children’s activities.
Also that Saturday, the village – and the entire country – celebrates Small Business Saturday. This is a great way to start (and maybe finish) checking off your holiday shopping list while supporting one of the nation’s most important economic drivers – small businesses. As you visit the boutiques and shops throughout the village, you’ll also be able to admire some of the most creative holiday window displays you’ve ever seen.
The following weekend, one of Ellicottville’s most popular fundraisers of the year, Irish Christmas, takes place on Friday, Dec. 4. The exciting auction and dinner event, sponsored by the Ellicottville Rotary Club, raises funds to purchase and provide gifts and meals for needy families. On Saturday, Dec. 5, visitors and locals alike make time for the old-fashioned Christmas Stroll. Dozens of holiday events take place all afternoon, including the always exciting “reindog parade” and the Living Nativity featuring live camels and talented performers who take their places at the Village Gazebo.
On Dec. 11, the Chamber will host its annual Christmas party for members at Holiday Valley. And throughout the rest of the month, numerous special surprises await visitors at the shops, restaurants and ski resorts throughout the area, including, one hopes, some fabulous early season skiing and boarding.
All this and so much more adds up to a one-of-a-kind holiday season that is aptly placed “under the Christmas in Ellicottville umbrella,” McFadden said. To keep up with all the Chamber’s events, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.