It’s Santa!

Area Sightings for Holiday Cheer

By Alicia Dziak

The countdown to Christmas is on, and if you haven’t had your chance to see the big guy yet, there are still plenty of opportunities to do so.

On Dec. 10, Santa has planned his annual visit to Gowanda Harley-Davidson. Free photos emailed to you, ornaments, cookies and hot cocoa. If you are able, please bring a new unwrapped gift of a toy, hats, gloves or mittens to help Santa spread the warmth of Christmas to those who need it in our WNY communities. For more info, visit www.GowandaHarley.com.

On Saturday, Dec. 17, from 9 to 11 a.m., Katy’s Fly-In will be hosting a pancake breakfast with Santa and Mrs.Claus. Kids eat free!  Guests are asked to bring a non perishable food item for the  local food pantry.

Visit Santa at his House in Allegany. Santa will entertain your young ones and encourage the magic of the season while he and the Mrs. visit his house in Allegany, located right next to Village Hall. Santa is scheduled to fly in Saturday, Dec. 10, 1-3 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. For more info, www.allegany.org.

On Dec. 17, celebrate Reindeer Day at the Salamanca Area Historical Society Museum, from 10 a.m. to noon. Kids can visit Dancer in person, as well as Santa.  Adults can have some fun at the basket raffle and bake sale.  Baskets will be all sizes and shapes, filled with a variety of items.  Tickets are just $1 a piece or the price goes down the more tickets you buy.  Interested in donating a basket?  Please contact the Museum or visit their Facebook page.

On Monday, Dec. 19, Santa will be stopping by the Olean Public Library from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Direct from the North Pole, Santa will have a Christmas carol sing-a-long, storytelling, and incredible floating snow ball and more. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/events/1879397265615692.

Also in Olean, Santa will be making an appearance at the Olean Center Mall daily through Christmas Eve. For info and hours, visit www.oleancentermall.com.

If mall Santas are your tradition, you can also check him out at McKinley Mall in Hamburg through Christmas Eve. And on Dec. 10, bring in your favorite furry companion for pet photos with Santa.

Also in the Hamburg/Orchard Park area, Santaland will be in full swing at Chestnut Ridge Park Dec. 10 and 11. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, enjoy a hayride to see Santa, arts and crafts, face painting, roasting marshmallows, woodcutting and more. Bring a new and unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, and enjoy this free family event.

In addition, the annual Festival of Lights continues to run at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Dec. 9-11 and 16-23. Stroll the illuminated street and explore each of the buildings for unique holiday activities, shows, and more. The 10,000 square foot walk-through adventure leads guests through the North Pole and right to Santa’s front porch. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting guests throughout the Festival as well as posing for photos, so don’t forget your camera.  For more info, visit www.the-fairgrounds.com/festival-lights.

On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, have Breakfast with Santa at Sprague’s Maple Farm. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, but not at just any restaurant—at Sprague’s Maple Farms, famous for their amazing food and delicious syrup!  This annual event brings much joy to children who attend and their families. Please call ahead for reservations. For more info, visit www.spraguesmaplefarms.com.