Good Deeds at Irish Christmas Celebration

Take a Christmas Stroll through Ellicottville

Cookies for Donations


By Eva Potter

Tonight and Saturday, Dec. 1, the streets and establishments of Ellicottville will be filled with music, good cheer, helping hands and sweet treats. Even though there are many holiday celebrations this weekend, you can easily squeeze them in, so come and experience a unique celebration of old-fashioned events in the village.

Tonight, Nov. 30, the annual Irish Christmas fundraiser takes place at the Gin Mill beginning at 6 p.m. The true spirit of the season shines through at this worthwhile event hosted by the Ellicottville Rotary Club for the eighth year. You’re sure to have a great evening, which will benefit families who need a little help this time of year, with music and lighthearted entertainment by local Rotarian and goodwill ambassador Bob McCarthy. This year the one-man Irish band Seanachi will keep the Gin Mill hopping with old Irish holiday favorites.

You can look forward to auction items ranging from handcrafted items from Ireland, Irish whiskey, as well as hotel and ski packages. Save room for dessert because you’ll want to be the highest bidder for at least one of the pies at the much-anticipated pie auction. Local bakers take great pride in perfecting their favorite recipes to raise money for this event. Attendees can also make a monetary donation or bring a gift to benefit Family Support for Ellicottville and Santa’s Workshop, where financially handicapped families can choose gifts for each other and take home fixings for a Christmas dinner.

Saturday brings another family holiday tradition – the Christmas Stroll. Slow your pace and take a relaxing walk up and down village sidewalks, warm up in quaint village shops and restaurants, and be sure to keep an eye out for candy elves, carolers and even a live camel.

Kids can look forward to a visit from the jolly old elf, a living nativity scene and the annual Reindog Parade. The day begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., with Santa arriving at 4 p.m. at the 1887 Building on the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets.

From 10 a.m.–3 p.m., the Christmas Bazaar will be held at the United Church of Ellicottville on Elizabeth Street. From 3:30-5 p.m., enjoy holiday organ music and tours at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets, as well as ornament making and crafts for the children. Displays of nativity sets and angels will be set up at Holy Name of Mary Church on Martha Street.

From 4–5:30 p.m., there will be cocoa and cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen at The Barn restaurant on Monroe Street – just follow the candy canes to get there! The whole family will enjoy viewing the village’s brilliant lights and festive holiday decorations as they take a cozy wagon ride departing from the Town Hall.

Be sure not to miss the Reindog Parade at 4:30 p.m., scheduled to take place along Washington Street. Bring your dog and you can be in the parade, too. Then, at 6 p.m., the living nativity rounds out the day in the village gazebo.

On Saturday, Mrs. Claus and a few helpers will greet you as you step across the winter wonderland threshold of Katy’s Café & Cake Creations between 5–8 p.m. Owner Katy Herbach is hoping to entice donors to stop at her café on Washington Street with cash donations for the Rotary Club’s Family Support for Ellicottville fund, nonperishable food items for the Ellicottville Food Pantry and toys for Santa’s Workshop in exchange for a free bag of Katy’s Cookies for Compassion – her famous holiday cookies. The café will serve as an ongoing community collection site until Dec. 20.  If you have questions, please call Katy at (716) 699-8860 or email

Come and enjoy a relaxing holiday weekend in Ellicottville! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Ellicottville is the perfect setting to catch the spirit of the holiday season.

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