Annual Christmas in Ellicottville Offers an Alternative to the Holiday Rush
The holiday season is a time of joy, family celebrations, carols, and lights. Although, sometimes it seems the crowded malls, incessant Christmas music, and traffic overwhelm the meaning of the holidays. But, there is an alternative to all the commercial hustle-bustle. For those who might be looking for a remedy to the noise and fuss, the annual Christmas In Ellicottville celebration can help take insanity out of the holidays. The events begin quietly, the day after Thanksgiving, and continue all the way through Christmas. And it takes place in a tiny Western New York village that is right out of a Norman Rockwell illustration.
Christmas in Ellicottville puts a great emphasis on children’s and family activities. Friday, November 27th at noon begins with the children’s Fire Truck Rides with Santa. Starting in front of the historic Town Hall, kids can board one of the village’s fire trucks with Santa and take a spin around the town. At the other end of the village are Horse Drawn Wagon Rides for the whole family. As evening comes on, the Ellicottville Sound Chorus will be strolling through the Village singing carols and other holiday songs. Hot Cocoa will be served for the Community Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:00 pm in front of the Old Schoolhouse (also called the 1887 Building).
As far as shopping goes, all of the Village’s quaint shops will be open extended hours for the weekend. Each year the shops compete in the window decorating contest. This year the theme is a favorite Christmas song, and the store owners show some pretty impressive creativity. When you take a twilight stroll along the streets, decorated with illuminated snowflakes, you’re sure to feel like a character out of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Saturday and Sunday the festivities continue, starting with a free pancake breakfast at the Villaggo restaurant on Monroe Street. The Fire Truck and Horse Drawn Wagon Rides continue in the early afternoon. At the Wingate Hotel are interactive children’s activities, decoration making, and a chance to visit with Santa. What will surely be the highlight of any child’s weekend is a chance to meet a real reindeer. Between 3:30 and 5:30 pm Saturday and 1:00 and 3:00 pm Sunday a live reindeer will be available for petting and photos in front of the Old Schoolhouse.
Various events continue in Ellicottville through the month of December up to Christmas Day. On December 5th is the annual Christmas Stroll. It starts with the Reindog Parade. Locals dress up their dogs as reindeer, or other holiday creatures, and parade their pets up and down Washington Street. The participants of the Living Nativity join them at the end of the stroll: adults, and kids, all dressed in costume. They all gather in the Gazebo to enact the Living Nativity. Shepherds, the Wise Men, Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus are all depicted. Live animals, including a camel, complete the tableau. For those who bemoan the commercialization of the holidays, Christmas in Ellicottville offers a charming antidote to Black Friday. For information on restaurants and accommodations, go to www.ellicottvilleny.com.