A Weekend of Fun and Help for the Less Fortunate

What a way to kick off the Christmas season! The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas in Ellicottville was bigger and better than ever. Locals and visitors alike took part in the many scheduled events throughout the Village.

Friday afternoon saw visitors make their way into the village for fire truck and horse-drawn carriage rides. Many stayed for Santa and his reindeer’s annual march up Washington Street to light the village. The new village lights included the traditional countdown of the Jolly Old Elf at the 1887 building, Christmas carolers, a reindeer and hot chocolate provided by Chef Dave of Holiday Valley Food Service.

“Christmas is a time for family, and Christmas in Ellicottville gave everyone the opportunity to get a head start on the joyfulness of the holiday season,” Barb Pump, Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce events and membership manager, said.  “Seeing all the children excited to meet Santa, take a ride on the carriage, ride the fire trucks and have their faces painted made the village light up before the tree had even been lit. The holiday season is definitely in full force and all of the businesses that helped make this weekend as amazing as it was, I thank you for your dedication and participation. A big thank you goes out to the Ellicottville Volunteer Fire Department for bringing out two trucks for Santa and Mrs. Claus to take the kids for a ride.”

Join us in thanking Dina’s, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Ellicottville Kitchen Equipment, Holiday Valley, HoliMont, Kazoo II, Krysick and Co., Peters and Moriarty, TEAM Pritchard (TEAM VP ERA), Rotary Club of Ellicottville, the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce for paying for the purchase and installation of the incredible new trees lights that line Washington and Monroe Streets.

Saturday and Sunday morning, at Villaggio, Santa had breakfast with over 500 children and their families. The breakfast included a voluntary donation for the Ellicottville food pantry in the form of either a monetary donation or a gift of non-perishable food items. In all, lots of non-perishable food and $747 was raised.

“Breakfast with Santa is a long-time Ellicottville tradition that we are thrilled to be able to continue, Nick Pitillo, owner of Villaggio restaurant, said. “Santa and Mrs. Claus were fantastic. It is heartwarming when, and it happened several times, parents approach me and thank us for hosting this event. It is truly the start of the Christmas season. I also want to thank Spencer Murray, our general manager, and Dave Foster, our Villaggio chef, for putting in the extra time to get everything ready. It is truly a family here in the village and we are blessed to be a part of it.”

The Wingate by Wyndham was the center of operations for Christmas Crafts and a time to once again meet Santa Claus. In all, more than 600 crafts were created and many, many wishes for Christmas were told to Santa in the strictest of confidence.

“It’s amazing to see the event grow so much over the years,” Michael Sherburne, general manager of the Wingate by Wyndham, said. “It really is great to see all the local families that come out for the event as well. Thank you Tops and Dina’s for the cookies and hot chocolate.”

The weekend brought thousands of people to Ellicottville to enjoy a real family-oriented event and get their Christmas shopping started in the fabulous shops. The Christmas spirit was everywhere.

“It’s always great to see people, families with children, in the village. The holidays are a special time to have that,” Brian McFadden, Executive Director for the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, said. “With the start of the busy holiday season, coming out to Ellicottville to relax and take in the village, enjoy a ride, or even a walk can take your mind off the stress of mall shopping. We are always happy to be a part of those kinds of memories and to help those that are in need at the same time. I want to thank my staff, Barb Pump and Chris Chapman, for their hard work and determination to make this a great event. We thank each and every person that came to Ellicottville for the weekend and we thank those great businesses that sponsored portions of the weekend. Without both we can’t do what we do.”

The weekend before Christmas in Ellicottville, businesses all throughout the village decorated their windows for the season and were judge by a panel of four judges, including Anita West, Dave Elder, John Karassick, and Judy Golley. The judges had their work cut out for them but eventually declared Kazoo II and Alexandra the overall winners.

Last but not least, we wish to thank the financial sponsors of Christmas in Ellicottville, the Wingate by Wyndham, Northtown Automotive, Labatt, Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, the Law office of John C. Nelson, The Law Office of Peters & Moriarty, HoganWilig, Villaggio, Tim and Bonnies, Ava Grace Fashions, Monroe Street Brick and Brew, and Ameri-Can.

See you next year!