Christmas in Ellicottville Nov. 28-30, Christmas Stroll Dec. 6

By Alicia Dziak

Friday, Nov. 28 marks the official start of the Christmas season, and what better place to kick it off than in the beautiful village of Ellicottville? With holiday activities galore, there’s something for kids of all ages all weekend long.

Christmas in Ellicottville 

The fun begins Friday, with events going on all day for Christmas in Ellicottville, highlighted by the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., led by Santa himself.

There are plenty of other opportunities to see Santa up close throughout the weekend. Meet him at the Wingate by Wyndham, 2:15–3:30 p.m. on Friday, 3:15–4:15 p.m. on Saturday, and noon–1 p.m. on Sunday. You can also enjoy a free pancake breakfast with him at The Barn Restaurant Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:30–11 a.m. (If you attend the breakfast, please consider bringing a donation for the Ellicottville Food Pantry.) People can’t resist the fun of riding in a big fire truck, and Santa is no exception — visitors can join him Friday, noon–2 p.m., and Saturday 1–3 p.m.

Santa will feel right at home in Ellicottville with live reindeer gracing the village. Check out Rudolph’s long lost relatives at the 1887 Building on Friday, 4–6 p.m., during the village tree lighting, Saturday 3:30–5:30 p.m., and Sunday 1–3 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can also snuggle up with loved ones for festive horse and wagon rides in Washington Square, Friday and Saturday 1–4 p.m., and Sunday noon–2 p.m.

Additional activities include interactive children’s activities at the Wingate by Wyndham, Friday 1:30–3 p.m., Saturday 2–3:30 p.m., and Sunday 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. The Seneca Junction Strolling Quartet will serenade visitors Friday 5–7 p.m. and Saturday 1–4 p.m.

You can’t visit Ellicottville at Christmastime without stopping into the fabulous shops. What better way to spend your holiday dollars than in the village, where you can find everything from high fashion to chocolate to the latest ski gear. Support these local shops on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.

Many of the businesses will also be competing for bragging rights as “Best Window,” so visit them all, see how they’ve “decked the halls” and help decide on the winner. Visitors are asked to snap a picture of their favorite window and post it to the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Ellicottville) or Twitter page (twitter.com/Eville_NY) for a chance to win a four-pack of tickets to a Summer Music Festival concert.

Christmas Stroll

The merriment doesn’t end there. Head back to Ellicottville on Saturday, Dec. 6 for the annual Christmas Stroll, an old-fashioned Christmas celebration that continues throughout the day.

From 9 a.m.–4 p.m., stop by the Christmas Bazaar at the United Church on Elizabeth Street to find even more unique gifts for everyone on your list.

Head to St. John’s Episcopal Church from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. for the artists’ exhibition, and enjoy organ music and tours from 3:30–5 p.m.

At 4 p.m., Santa returns to The Barn Restaurant, this time bringing his elves. Guests can also enjoy some of Mrs. Claus’s famous cookies at Katy’s Café, from 4–5:30 p.m.

Be on the lookout for a camel wandering through town, and listen to or participate in the festive caroling. Be sure to check out the display of Nativity sets and angels in Holy Name of Mary Roman Catholic Church on Jefferson Street.

At 4:30 p.m., the infamous “reindog” parade is set to begin, followed by the Living Nativity at the Village Gazebo at 6 p.m.

There’s no place quite like Ellicottville to experience the spirit of the holidays. Stroll the streets of this winter wonderland and create lasting Christmas memories with loved ones. Cap it all off with a tasty dinner at one of Ellicottville’s fantastic eateries, and you’ve got yourself a day (or two!) chock full of holiday magic!