By Kellen M. Quigley

As the Thanksgiving holiday comes to a close, the season of giving is just getting started with Christmas only a few weeks away.

After spending a day with family and friends eating delicious food and sharing what you’re thankful for, continue the weekend together in downtown Ellicottville on Saturday with a proper kick-off to the most wonderful time of the year.

The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce will once again host its annual “Christmas in Ellicottville” event this weekend, Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 25.

After decades of winter and holiday celebrations in the historic village, the tradition continues with plenty for visitors and residents to see and do.

The weekend begins Friday at noon with Fire Truck Rides with Santa up and down Jefferson Street and Washington streets. Throughout the afternoon, families can enjoy face painting, horse and wagon rides, cookie decorating and other interactive children’s activities.

At 2:15 p.m., you can visit with Santa in person at the Ellicottville Wingate by Wyndham. Starting at five, families can visit with a real reindeer on the post office lawn while the Ellicottville Sound Chorus will begin caroling in the downtown area up until the tree lighting.

At 6 p.m., the moment everyone has been waiting for arrives with the Community Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony with Santa on the post office lawn.

During the weekend, stores in Ellicottville will be open for the real beginning of Christmas shopping season for all those great Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales too good to pass up.

On Saturday, the free pancake breakfast with Santa at Finnerty’s Tap Room begins at 10 a.m. At this event, donations will be accepted for the Ellicottville Food Pantry. Only non-perishable items or cash, please.

At 11:30, the kids holiday movie will be shown at Villaggio.

Just like on Friday, families can take part in face painting, fire truck rides, horse and wagon rides, cookie decorating, ornament making and other interactive children’s activities.

Between 1 and 4 p.m., the Ellicottville Sound Chorus will be singing throughout the village. Kids will again have the opportunity to meet Santa at the Wingate by Wyndham and one of his reindeer out on the post office lawn.

The event comes to an end on Sunday, but not before visitors and locals alike take part in one more day of activities.

A free pancake breakfast starts the day, this time at Villaggio, and donations will be accepted for the Ellicottville Food Pantry.

Cookie decorating contests and interactive children’s activities will keep the younger ones entertained throughout the morning beginning at 11 and throughout the afternoon.
Your opportunity to meet Santa for the final time will be at the Windgate by Wyndham at noon for one hour.

However, Christmas in Ellicottville doesn’t last only one weekend, but all December long. Throughout the month, revisit Ellicottville for shopping, fine dining and plenty of fun holiday events for the whole family.

One of Ellicottville’s most popular fundraisers is Bob McCarthy’s Irish Christmas, which takes place Nov. 30 at Ellicottville Brewing Company.

The exciting pie auction and the dinner event, sponsored by the Ellicottville Rotary Club, raises funds to purchase and provide gifts and meals for local families that could use a little help this holiday season.

Then on Dec 1, plan to take part in the village’s old-fashioned Christmas Stroll. The Ellicottville A Christmas Stroll was created in 1987 by a group of citizens who, after brainstorming over coffee, decided that they wanted a live nativity scene with children dressed as angels and shepherds, who walked around the village and met at the gazebo. There, the baby Jesus was presented and caroling presided. The tradition has continued on for the past 28 years.

‘Tis the season for making holiday memories, and there are plenty of opportunities to do just that in Ellicottville this weekend and throughout the month of December.