By Deb Everts

Get into the holiday spirit and make Ellicottville a holiday season destination. There are several special events downtown in the village and plenty of winter sports at Holiday Valley and HoliMont ski areas.

The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce presents the annual “Christmas in Ellicottville” event from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Sponsored by Wingate by Wyndham and SYSCO, the free, three-day weekend will feature a full schedule of family-friendly activities throughout the village. 

Started in 2006, the event is all about kids and those who are kids at heart. On both Friday and Saturday, kids can board the fire truck on the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets to ride around town with Santa. 

Don’t miss the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree by Santa on Friday night at 6 p.m. Gather ‘round the tree and sing along with the Ellicottville Sound Chorus while sipping hot cocoa. Meet a real, live reindeer on the post office lawn on Washington Street.  

On all three days, visitors will have the opportunity to take a horse and wagon ride from Katy’s Café on Washington Street. There will be interactive children’s activities at Wingate by Wyndham where kids can also meet Santa and give him their wish list. If they haven’t had enough cookies there, they can walk over to Cupcaked on Monroe Street for some cookie decorating.

On Saturday only, a kids’ holiday movie will be shown at the Villaggio from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kids can pose for a photo with Buddy the Elf and make Christmas crafts at ERA Team VP from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 

Enjoy a free Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Finnerty’s Tap Room on Saturday and Villaggio on Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m. both days.

During the event, donations will be accepted for the Ellicottville Food Pantry including non-perishable items and cash.

Watch for a full schedule of activities on

Then on Dec. 6, Bob McCarthy’s Irish Christmas, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ellicottville, continues again this year in Bob’s honor as he touched so many in Ellicottville with his spirit and generosity.

Hosted by Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC), the event is set for Friday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. Although it can never be the same with his passing, Bob’s dedication to this event inspires the organizers to continue with his magic.

Come back to the village on Dec. 7 for “A Christmas Stroll” to celebrate the holiday season with a living nativity, complete with a camel. Created in 1987, the tradition has continued for the past 28 years. The event takes place at the village gazebo where children dressed as angels and shepherds met to honor Baby Jesus as carolers sing.

More holiday festivities take place on Dec. 14 at Holiday Valley’s Tannenbaum Lodge where the chamber will hold its annual Christmas Party. More information will soon be available on the chamber’s website.

Finally, on Dec. 15, the annual Christmas Cantata performance will be held at the Holy Name of Mary Church, 22 Jefferson St. in Ellicottville at 7 p.m. Listen to songs of Christmases passed.

For even more fun holiday activities, take the family tubing at the Holiday Valley Tubing Company at 5673 Bryant Hill Road, or skiing and snowboarding at HoliMont Ski Area, and Holiday Valley Resort.

Weather permitting, the target opening day for this year’s ski season at Holiday Valley is Nov. 29. The Tubing Park is expected to open Dec. 19.

On Demo Day, Dec. 14, skiers will have the opportunity to try out ski equipment before they buy it at the Holiday Valley Lodge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During that week from Dec. 14-18, Holiday Valley’s race coaches will present the Cleveland Metro Race Camp.