Christmas in Gowanda sees parade, fireworks in first day

Mr. and Mrs. Claus wave to parade goers on a Gowanda Fire Truck.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus wave to parade goers on a Gowanda Fire Truck.

GOWANDA – What a sight downtown in Gowanda. Throughout the village, Christmas music is ringing, all the local stores are open late with customers galore and events to please every man, woman and child.

Christmas in Gowanda 2017 was a hit and, yet, only half done as Saturday is packed with more.

Friday hosted a plethora of events from pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus to horse and wagon rides. The tree lighting ceremony brought everyone together at Chang Hu Park, which was shortly followed up by a parade and fireworks.

The event, which amassed thousands into the village, put Gowanda in the limelight and the village shined.

“It’s really a tribute to a lot of hard work that’s been done before this,” Gowanda Mayor David Smith said. “Past mayor Heather McKeever, Gowanda area Chamber of Commerce put a lot of time and effort into this through the years. It grew into the monster event that you see today. Fireworks are starting in the distance, we got train rides tomorrow, we got horse and carriage rides. … We got it all here in Gowanda.”

The one marquee factor to Christmas in Gowanda was the uniformity for the small businesses. Jamestown Street and West Main Street had packed lines of customers. That was a goal for the Gowanda area Chamber of Commerce and the village.

“The businesses are the backbone of any community and as village leaders, it is our job to promote those businesses, brag about it and get people in to use them,” Smith said. “This is just tremendous. There’s thousands of people here.”

Persia Town Hall had a cookie contest and gave many away during the event. What started with over 1,200 cookies, dwindled down to maybe 200 at 7 p.m. on Friday. For the best tasting cookie, Kim Luther won with her white velvet cutouts and for best looking was a Christmas mouse by Nancy Bowers.

Today, Christmas in Gowanda will host train rides every hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is located at the bend of Commercial and Palmer streets. The Snowflake Walk begins at noon and police car and fire truck rides in front of the Hollywood Theater. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be at Love INC from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol will play at the theater at 1 p.m. and a holiday Sip-N-Shop at Palm Gardens with multiple vendors will be from 3-7 p.m.

The library will also have events of its own. From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., there will be a Christmas Craft Class, which must pre-register by calling Sue at 597-5929; an adult craft from 11-noon; story and craft time at 12:30-1:30.

“It’s just fantastic,” Mayor Smith added. “We have a first-class community here at Gowanda. They love to be a part of stuff and it really reflects the holiday spirit here in Gowanda.”

A complete photo gallery is online at bit.ly/2iD7NXU which shows the many sights of Christmas in Gowanda from Friday.

Twitter: @Kuczkowski95

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