OLEAN — With just a week to go until the parade, officials from Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce have registered more than 30 units for the upcoming Santa Claus Lane Parade on Friday, Nov. 29 in which Santa Claus lights thousands of lights in downtown Olean. The ever-popular parade is the official kickoff to the holiday season in the area.

Pam Caldwell, GOACC’s Official Lights Coordinator stated, “We are fortunate that Santa will make his stop once again this year to the City of Olean and take part in the Santa Claus Lane Parade on Friday November 29th.  Our gratitude and appreciation also go to the City of Olean’s employees who have dedicated time and effort over the past 27 years to assist us in bringing joy and happiness to our residents and more importantly to our children.”

This year’s parade judges are Al Wager, National Grid Co.; Paula Snyder, Jamestown Community College; Max Bullers, Home Depot of Olean; and Lori Babcock of Microtel Inn of Olean.  The judges will be located in front of Blue Bird Square.

Winners will be announced the night of the parade. Eight awards will be presented in the following categories: the Elves Award, Angelic Spirit Award, Blitzed Award, Jingle Bells Award, Rudolph Award, Season’s Greetings Award, and the Snowflake Award. New this year — the Sleigh Award.

North Union Street will close to traffic at 6 p.m. The city’s downtown parking lots will be opened. The City Building’s restrooms will be opened the night of the parade from 6–8:30 p.m. Extra uniformed personnel of the Olean Fire and Police Departments will be on hand. Lost children should report to the Chamber office, and a wheelchair only section will be roped off in front of the Chamber office/City Building.

New this year, local performer Dawn Elizabeth will sing a host of Christmas carols with the assistance of WPIG sound system near the four corners. The Bent Brass Ensemble will perform from 6:30–7:15 p.m. near Blue Bird Square. Paul Brown Dodge will be in the first part of the parade with their Toys for Tots Truck – once the truck passes the Chamber storefront, the truck will park near the four corners and Paul Brown Dodge encourages all attendees to drop off an unwrapped new toy for children for the Christmas season.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, near the Burger King on North Union Street in Olean. The parade will travel south on Union to just past Lincoln Park, where units will begin to disperse once they arrive at Henley Street.

For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane or other Greater Olean Area events and activities, please call (716) 372-4433 or email santa@oleanny.com.