By Eva Potter
It really is the most wonderful time of the year when friends and family, neighbors and strangers, come together to enjoy the beginning of winter in Ellicottville. And there’s truly no place like Ellicottville for the holidays!
Two weekends of cheer are heading your way with Christmas in Ellicottville and Christmas Stroll. Load the kids in the car and bring your decked out dog on Dec. 7 (more on that later). It’s been snowing on and off since last weekend, and two-plankers and boarders wouldn’t have it any other way! Holiday Valley’s slopes are opening this Friday, Nov. 29, so once you’re done on the hill, head into the village to check out what’s happening. See the complete schedule of events to the right.
CHRISTMAS IN ELLICOTTVILLE
Friday, Nov. 29 –
Sunday, Dec. 1
Reject all the Black Friday madness and come to Ellicottville for a relaxing weekend of merriment without all the craziness.
It all begins at noon on Friday, Nov. 29. Enjoy fire truck rides with Santa, horse and wagon rides, and free children’s activities. You can even see a real reindeer, listen to carolers and watch the festive tree lighting ceremony at the 1887 Building as the lights are switched on to reveal thousands of sparkling lights, all while you stay warm with a delicious cup of hot cocoa.
Start your Saturday with a hearty and free pancake breakfast with Santa at The Barn restaurant. Donations will be gratefully accepted for the Ellicottville Food Pantry.
Then walk off that big meal along the sidewalks of the village where beautifully decorated shop windows will entice to step inside and have a look. With such a fun variety of merchants, you just may begin and end your holiday shopping all in one day — and, as a bonus, you’ll be supporting small businesses along the way.
Visitors will delight in the four-part harmony of the strolling Seneca Junction Quartet as they serenade you with holiday favorites. You can catch them ducking in and out of shops and restaurants all weekend. There are loads of fun events and opportunities planned for the whole family with more chances for horse and wagon rides through the village, as well as fire truck rides.
Each evening as the sun sets behind the hills, the village springs to life and glitters in the warm glow of twinkling holiday lights. It’s the perfect time to enjoy some holiday cheer in any of the fabulous restaurants and taverns in town, many of which offer premier live entertainment.
The whole family will enjoy the live holiday performance of “Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings” by the Olean Community Theater. It all begins at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 6360 Route 242 East. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Ellicottville Memorial Library or at the door.
Sunday brings more of the same festive spirit. Pick your day or come for the whole weekend to make some special memories.
Saturday, Dec. 7
If you still aren’t in the holiday spirit, then a visit to Ellicottville for the annual Christmas Stroll in definitely in order!
The festivities may take place on the village streets, but don’t forget to duck into our eclectic shops, gourmet food stores, a winery and brewery, ski shops and more.
To call Ellicottville’s Christmas Stroll unique is a jolly understatement. When is the last time you encountered a live strolling camel on the sidewalk? Well, you will today! Yes, it’s a friendly camel (a little like the one on the TV commercial but not as talkia).
It’s a busy day filled with great fun, so come early and head to the Christmas Bazaar at the United Church on Elizabeth Street, check out all the new stores in town, and enjoy a delicious lunch at one the many fabulous restaurants. Take a tour of St. John’s Episcopal Church, listen to inspiring organ music and help the kids make some fun ornaments.
At 4 p.m., Santa arrives at The Barn restaurant with his elves, while Mrs. Claus greets her guests at Katy’s Café. She’s been very busy baking and brewing hot cocoa to warm your chilly bones, so stop in and say hello. If you bring some money to support local charities, Mrs. Claus will give you a bag of freshly baked cookies to take home! Candy elves, carolers, wagon rides fill the afternoon with a wonderful way to celebrate the season.
Remember the dog part mentioned above? Here it comes … be sure to bring your decked out dog for the Reindog Parade down Washington Street at 4:30 p.m. Yes, there really is such a thing and it’s a blast! Antlers provided.
Don’t miss the grand finale — the Living Nativity at the Village Gazebo at 6 p.m. It’s a special holiday reenactment complete with costumed actors and live animals.
Whether your family is looking for something to do, or you and your sweetheart want a day to escape from the hustle and bustle, come to Ellicottville and we’ll show you how we roll!