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The Buffalo News

November 25, 2007

Take a break and enjoy the season-Chautauqua County holiday events
By Christine A. Smyczynski

At this time of year we usually find ourselves so caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday season that we often forget to take the time to actually relax and enjoy the beauty and magic of the season. Take a break and travel down to Chautauqua County to enjoy some of the holiday events they have planned to really get you into the holiday spirit.


A ski slope of holiday lights
The most unique holiday event taking place is at Peek ‘N Peak Resort and Spa in Findley Lake. The Ski Slope Trail of Lights will take place each evening from 6-9pm from November 23 through December 23. This is North America’s first ever ski slope trail of lights.


The Finsbury Field Slope will be closed to skiers and will be decorated with fourteen spectacular animated themed light displays. The leisurely twenty minute round-trip chairlift ride is suitable for young and old, however, guests under three are not permitted for safety reasons. Tickets which are $5 per person are available at the resort and at all Wegmans stores.


Peek ‘N Peak, which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, will be offering a number of accommodation packages in conjunction with the trail of lights. Some of these packages include children’s activities, sleigh rides and more. Be sure to check out the 24-foot Christmas tree decorated with over 4,500 lights displayed inside the Inn at the Peak.

Holiday traditions past and present
The Fenton History Center in Jamestown will have American holiday traditions of the past and present displayed throughout the 1863 mansion, once the residence of New York Governor Reuben Fenton.


In their holiday exhibit, Deck the Halls, each of the mansion’s twenty-nine rooms will have an exhibit focusing on a different era of holiday décor. The entire mansion will reflect the Victorian tradition of decorating with greens, berries and blossoms. During your self-guided tour of the mansion you will view a mid-1800’s table top tree, a huge 12-foot tree in the parlor, very popular in the late 1800’s, and even a 1940’s era snow village, complete with animated ice skaters and twinkling lights.


“One of the new exhibits we have is Living Dolls, an exhibit of antique dolls dating back to the 1840’s,” said Joni Blackman, director of the Fenton History Center. “It’s a new venture between the Fenton History Center and the Chautauqua County Historical Society (McClurg Museum in Westfield) working together on an exhibit.”


Also on display at the Fenton History Center are exhibits focusing on Kwanza and Hanukkah, as well as a display on the Mexican religious celebration Las Posadas and Los Tres Reyes (the Three Kings) a Puerto Rican Celebration. On December 8 the Fenton History Center will have their annual Family Day, which will feature period musical entertainment and local school groups.

A Holiday Parade
About 10,000 people are expected to show up for the annual Jamestown Holiday Parade on December 7. The parade, which begins at the Third Street Bridge and travels to Tracy Plaza at Spring and Thirds Streets, begins at 6:30pm. The theme of this year’s parade is A Jamestown Christmas Story. About 150 units, including floats, bands and marchers are expected to participate. Of course, Santa will be there for the festivities. Immediately following the parade, there will be a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. A new event this year will be the Jamestown Snowball Drop. Ping pong balls, imprinted with coupons and gift certificates from Jamestown area businesses, will be dropped from a firetruck.


The Jamestown Santa’s Family Workshop will take place that evening from 7:30-9pm at the Jamestown YMCA, 101 E. Fourth Street. Kids can enjoy crafts and other activities and get to meet Santa and his reindeer.


Other holiday events taking place in Jamestown include the Market on Main, which is open November 8 until December 22. A number of vendors have holiday items for sale, including toys, gourmet foods, handmade items, home décor and more. The Market on Main is located at the corner of Second and North Main. It’s open Thursday and Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. Musical entertainment will be featured on Saturdays during December. On Saturdays December 8, 15, and 22, free authentic stagecoach rides through downtown Jamestown will be offered from 1-4; rides start on Thirds Street near Main.

Enjoy a Miracle on Main Street
Head to the Village of Fredonia on December 1st and enjoy a Miracle on Main Street. Start the day at 10am at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House with a free screening of the holiday film, Elf. Later, take part in a gingerbread decorating workshop at the White Inn from 11:30-3. Reservations are required; call the inn at 672-2103.


There will also be horse-drawn trolley rides through the village at various times during the afternoon and early evening. Seating is limited for this very popular ride; for reservations, call Time Pieces Gift Shop 672-4818. Rides are $2 for adults and $1 for children.

The village tree lighting ceremony will take place at 4pm at Barker Commons Park gazebo, afterwards free cocoa and cookies will be available at the nearby Intermezzo Coffee House. Chautauqua County Hospice will also have a tree lighting ceremony on the front porch of the White Inn at 5:30. The day will conclude with a free screening of White Christmas at 8pm at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.

Holiday shopping in Old Order Amish Country
Carol Lorenc of Amish Flair Tours will be offering a holiday tour of Amish shops in the Cherry Creek/Leon area. Morning and afternoon tours are available and both tours include a luncheon at the Cherry Creek Inn B & B. The tour will take you to a variety of Amish shops where you can purchase unique hand-crafted items. Lunch includes chicken breast, scalloped potatoes, corn fritters and apple compote. Tours take place on November 27, 29, December 1, 6, 11, 13 and 15. Cost is $30 per person and reservations are required.

Christmas Tree Wonderland
The newly open Chautauqua Suites Meeting & Expo Center in Mayville will be creating a Christmas tree wonderland for the entire month of December. Over 50 trees decorated by local businesses and organizations will be on display. The public will get to vote on which trees is the best in show by purchasing voting ballots; proceeds will go to area food pantries. The winner will be announced January 7th.

Country Christmas Extravaganza
Just over the county line in Randolph in Cattaraugus County, the annual Country Christmas Extravaganza will take place December 7-9. On Friday December 7 at 7pm, a thirty-foot memory tree erected in Triangle Park will be lit. People can make a $5 donation in the name of someone they wish to remember and honor.


On Saturday December 8, a Christmas Parade will take place along Main Street at 11am. Afterwards, Santa will be available for photos and story telling at the Randolph fire hall. A grand display of Trees and Treasurers at the fire hall will feature trees decorated by local businesses, clubs and organizations. There will also be children’s activities, live entertainment and a gingerbread house contest. A pancake breakfast will be held Saturday morning from 7-10:30am.


Enjoy a chicken and biscuit dinner Sunday at noon, followed by the annual pie auction. People who live in the community can participate in a home decorating contest; winners will be announced at the dinner on Sunday.

If you go

Peek ‘n Peak Resort & Spa (716-355-4141; 1405 Olde Road, Findley Lake. Ski Slope Trail of Lights, Nov. 23-Dec. 23, 6-9 pm daily. $5/person; children under three not permitted and children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Fenton History Center (716-664-6256; 67 Washington Street, Jamestown. Deck the Halls exhibit, Monday-Saturday 10-4, Nov.23-Jan. 19. Also open Sunday 1-4 in December. $5 adults, $4 children 5-12, under 5 free.

Jamestown Holiday Parade (716-664-2477;

Miracle on Main Street (Festivals Fredonia 716-672-4818)

Amish Flair Tours 716-962-3412

Christmas Wonderland, Chautauqua Suites Meeting and Expo Center (716-269-STAY) 215 W. Lake Road, Mayville.

Randolph Country Christmas Extravaganza (716-358-9701, ext. 208)