Christmas in Gowanda event starts Friday

Submitted Photo Pictured are (from left) helpers Michael Bentley and Alexis Sager along with Gary Patterson (Gowanda-Area Chamber of Commerce). The tree was donated by Dixieland Tree farm of Versailles.

GOWANDA — Christmas in Gowanda, the village’s “Old Fashioned Christmas” event will be taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 1. The Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce has been working for several months planning this beloved local event and many, including Chamber President Nick Crassi, are looking forward to celebrating with the the public again this year.

“We’re really excited about this year,” Crassi said. “Last year we had a couple thousand people, we hope to do well again this year.”

New in 2018 will be a “Prince & Princess” contest for kids. The contest is currently planned to be held before the Christmas in Gowanda event with a coronation ceremony to be held the Thursday before the tree lighting. The prince & princess would get to ride in the Christmas Parade, as well as be featured in the annual Snowflake Walk. Additionally, this year, the coloring contest is being changed to a favorite Christmas memory drawing contest.

Gowanda’s Shop Local promotion, will kick off on Shop Local Saturday, Nov. 24. Participating merchants will be displaying “Shop Local” promotion signs at their locations. Shoppers visiting these stores will be given entries, per $10 purchase, for the weekly drawings for gift certificates. The certificates will be good towards additional purchases, again at participating merchants. The first of three weekly drawings is currently scheduled for the Christmas in Gowanda weekend.

The festival will feature many of the usual activities, with some new twists and things being added. Friday, will see the annual tree lighting ceremony at Chang-Hu Park, followed by the Holiday Spirit Parade.

OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward Nick Crassi, Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce president holds a sign inviting everyone to join the village for its seventh annual Christmas in Gowanda festivities taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

New this year is the Legacy Tree. Before the tree lighting, designated locations will be providing simple, blank ornaments, on which families will be able to write the name of a loved one they want remembered. They will be able to bring these ornaments with them to the tree lighting ceremony and hang them on the Legacy Tree.

In addition to the living nativity at the tree lighting, St. Joseph Church will also have a nativity display throughout both days of Christmas in Gowanda. Other traditional activities before the tree lighting will include a children’s craft at the Gowanda Free Library with a warming station, hot dogs served and drinks on their front lawn. Visit Persia Town Hall to say Hi to Rudolph, then warm up inside with cookies and hot chocolate. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Love, Inc., bring your cameras to take pictures with Frosty, Rudolph and the Grinch. An amazing fireworks display following the parade will end the Friday night festivities, sponsored by the village of Gowanda and the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Saturday’s activities include kids and adult craft sessions, Santa and Mrs. Claus at Love, Inc., multiple train rides (times to be determined) ending with a 6 p.m. adult wine and cheese ride, Finding Dimes singers at Gabel Brothers, horse and wagon rides, police and firetruck rides and more.

It should also be noted that the Gowanda Lions Club will again be running their Helping Hands Christmas toy and food drive to help needy families in the area.

Be sure to follow The Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce along with Christmas in Gowanda Facebook pages for the latest information. Visitors can also check for updates through the website at