Do You Hear What I Hear?

ELLICOTTVILLE – The turkey hasn’t even been carved, but to go along with the radio stations playing the music, plans are underway for an annual celebration that does happen after Thanksgiving. Christmas in Ellicottville is just around the corner, set for Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 1.

Starting at noon on Friday, The Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus, will be riding a fire truck on Jefferson Street. Parents and kids alike can climb aboard and ride with him until 2 p.m. At 1, those who don’t see fire trucks in their future, or maybe those who are looking for something a bit more rustic can jump in a horse-drawn wagon at Washington Square.

As children wait for Santa to climb off his big red truck, they can wait in the warmth of the Wingate by Wyndham, just off Mill Street, this year’s signature sponsor of the event. While they stay warm, the kids will have many activities to keep them busy and somewhat patient. Santa is expected to arrive at the hotel at 2:15 and will visit with children until 3:30. At 4 p.m., at the 1887 Building on the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets, waiting to pick up Santa, youngsters can meet real reindeer.

From 5-7 p.m., the Seneca Junction Strolling Quartet will meander their way through the village, spreading good cheer with their songs of celebration, commemorating the reasons for the holiday. About halfway through their stroll, a community Christmas tree will be illuminated. The celebration will be complete with Santa still hanging around, and hot cocoa available for all in attendance on what could be a chilly night.

Saturday gets going rather early this time of year for many in Ellicottville, and this celebration weekend is no different. Visitors to The Barn, at 7 Monroe St., will be able to take part in a free benefit pancake breakfast until 11 a.m. All donations that come from each stack will go to the Ellicottville Food Pantry, an annual benefactor of the event.

The events of the day start at 1 p.m. with Santa on the fire truck once again, until 3, when he makes his way over to the hotel for another day of meeting with children to hear what they want for the festive holiday. On Saturday, however, Santa will be at the hotel from 3:15 until 4:15. Not to worry though, children’s activities will be available from 2 p.m. until 3:30 as children wait their turn.

Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from 1 p.m. until 4. During those times, the Seneca Junction Strolling Quartet will be making their way through the village once again. Reindeer will return to the 1887 Building from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Olean Community Theater will present their version of “Forever Plaid, Plaid Tidings.” Tickets for the show can be purchased at the Ellicottville Library, in advance of the show for $10.

On Sunday, The Barn will once again open their doors from 9:30-11 a.m. for a free pancake breakfast with donations going to the Ellicottville Food Pantry. After riding around on a big red truck for the past two days, Santa will forego the ride time on a fire truck. Instead, he will meet with even more children from noon until 1 p.m. at the Wingate by Wyndham.

Before his arrival, starting at 11:30, children can start to get in line, mingling with one another a bit as they check out the interactive children’s activities for one last time on the weekend. Santa’s reindeer will be back to bring the Jolly One home after a couple hours of meeting children, themselves, from 1-3 p.m. at the 1887 Building. As all of that is happening, horse-drawn wagon rides will take place at Washington Square from noon until 2 p.m.

All weekend, shops in the village will keep their normal hours for visitors to stop in, warm up and browse their wares, tasting what the village of Ellicottville has to offer. Most shops open at 10 a.m., but each keeps its own hours, so the opportunity to visit all of them may vary.

That’s not the end of the holiday celebration in Ellicottville, however. On Dec. 6, The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce will host The Ellicottville Christmas Party. Festivities will get under way at 6 p.m. in The Ellicottville Brewing Company’s new brewery and banquet area. Several courses will be available, buffet-style, throughout the facility, and will feature goods from local businesses, like Dom’s Butcher Block, EVL Cheese Company, Katy’s Cafe, Watson’s Chocolates and The Winery of Ellicottville.

A full menu of delectables can be found at the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce’s website, ellicottvilleny.com, but suffice it to say that eight stations catering to different themes of food will supply even the most finicky eater with a full meal.

Not only can the food be had for the price of admission, but a cocktail hour and open bar will keep the spirits of the holiday season flowing. The sounds of jazz will join with the aromas, filling the air with relaxation as LTM Jazz Trio plays through the cocktail hour. Once the meal is settled a bit, the sounds of Mo Porter will fill the air and the dance floor. Admission for the event is $50 per person and are available by calling 699-5046.