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Santa Claus Lane Parade returns tonight




The ever-popular Santa Claus Lane Parade in downtown Olean is the official kick-off to the holiday season in the area in which Santa and Mrs. Claus light thousands of skylines and snowflakes and stars in downtown Olean. 

The parade will returns tonight (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m., starting at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and North Union Street. 

Delaware Avenue will be closed to traffic at 6 p.m. with North Union Street closing to traffic at 6:45 p.m.   

Mercy Flight of Western New York will officially kick off the parade with a fly over and then their spotlight will shine up the parade route.  Mercy Flight WNY is an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency air-medical transport and supporting services, ensuring rapid, safe and cost effective delivery of expert emergency response teams. 

The parade will travel south on Union to just past Lincoln Park where units will begin to disperse once they arrive at Henley Street.  The parade will stagger and use both sides of the street. Parade organizers stress that no spectators will be allowed to view on the medians and / or roundabouts during the parade.

The city’s downtown parking lots will be opened and free to park.  The Municipal Building’s restrooms will be opened the night of the parade from 6 to 8:30 p.m..  Extra uniformed personnel of the Olean Fire and Police Departments will be on hand.  Lost children should report to the Chamber office at 301 N. Union St.  The parking spaces along both of North Union Street from Route 417 to Delaware Avenue will be closed to any parking vehicles at 4 p.m..  Cars, trucks, etc. will be allowed to park back along these spaces after 8:30 p.m. Also, the detour route will be First Street from Wayne to Henley as well as East/West Henley from South First Street to South Barry Streets. No parking will be allowed along the detour route as well.  

Olean Police Chief Jeff Rowley stated, “Please parents have your family members stay up on the curbs on Union Street as well as off the medians and roundabouts – they are not to be used for viewing the parade.”

Paul Brown Motor’s and Toys 4 Tots will be teaming up again this year.  Their goal is to collect a many toys as possible.  HELP US FILL UP OUR PICK UP TRUCK… with toys of course.  Last year’s Toys 4 Tots campaign helped loads of children in our immediate area.  Look for Paul Brown’s and the TOYS 4 TOTS Pick-up Truck on East State St. between Lincoln Park and the City building to drop off your unwrap gift for a local child

Chamber officials have invited area residents to judge this year’s parade: Paula Snyder, Jamestown Community College; Linda Letts, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, and Max Bullers, Home Depot of Olean.  The judges will be located in a Close’s Lumber truck on North Union Street near Laurens Street intersection.

Eight awards will be presented in the following categories:  The Blitzen Award, sponsored by Times Herald will go to the most photogenic float or unit; The Seasons Greetings Award, sponsored by The Miller’s Farm Market to the best newcomer to the parade, and one that typifies a welcoming theme - this unit must be a first-time entrant; The Rudolph Award, sponsored by National Grid Co., for the float with the most or best use of lights; The Snowflake Award, sponsored by the Street Classics Car Club for the unit with the most participants in the parade, Angelic Spirit Award, sponsored by Mandy’s Flowers, will go to the most spiritual/religious float or unit.  The Elves Award, sponsored by Owl Homes Group, will go to the float or unit that best typifies the holiday through the eyes of a child; Jingle Bells Award, sponsored by Microtel Inn of Olean, will go to the best theatrical (music/dance) float or unit; and The Sleigh Award, presented by The Bantelman Agency, will go to the most decorated larger truck (fire truck, flatbed, utility vehicles, etc.) 

Winners will be announced the night of the parade.

ALL PARADE UNITS should enter the staging area by entering North Barry Street (Behind Big Lots) from Main Street.  Parade units will need to STOP at the Parade Stop that will be in the right lane going south on North Barry Street.  You will pick up your number at that time.


The Parade line-up is as follows:

 Units from #1 - #20 line up on upper Delaware Avenue (between North Union Street and North Barry Street).  Arrive no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

 Mercy Flight in the air

Olean Police Department

OHS Marching Band

Portville Lady Panther Volleyball Team


Limestone Volunteer Fire Department

Jamestown Composite Squad NY402

Paul Brown Motors

Portville Youth Cheerleading

Portville Cub Scout Pack 631

Yorkshire Fire Department

Neighborhood School of Dance

City Of Olean

Olean Area Federal Credit Union

Eden Heights

Olean YMCA After School Programs

Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department

Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby

Jerry Sayre

Olean Cub Scout Pack 617


Units #21-53 will report North Barry Street via Pizza hut.  You will then be directed to Albany Avenue and to the parking lots parallel to North Barry St.   Arrive no earlier than 6:30 p.m.


Toad's Butcher Shop

Hinsdale Fire Department


The Hero / B107.5

G2 Gymnastics

Portville Girl Scouts

Bolivar Fire Department

Team I SMELL Success!

Order of the Amaranth & Enchanted Mountain Masonic Lodge

Dance Arts w/  Trans Am Flycar

Trans Am Olean 10 w/ Dance Arts

Olean Synergy Travel Softball

Bradford Area Dance Center - Allegany

Richburg Volunteer Fire Department

Cattaraugus County Meals on Wheels

Alle-Catt Taxi

Bob Cat of Olean

Knapp Creek Fire Department

Olean Area Youth Hockey Organization

Niagara Scenic Tours

Allegany Fire Department

Westons Mills Fire Department

Shults Resale of Olean

Conkey's Automotive

Worth W. Smith Co.

Enchanted Mountain Jeep Wrangler Club

Crosstown Alliance Church

Boehmer Trucking

Storm Athletics All-Star Cheer

K-Mart Heating and Cooling Co.

Town of Olean Volunteer Fire Department

Olean Fire Department and North Pole

Olean Police Department

WPIG-FM will be the official emcees of the parade and will announce the parade line up at their official emcee booth near the intersection of Union and State Streets.


 Chamber launches new website to purchase gift certicates online


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificates are a convenient way to make sure even the most particular person on your gift list isn’t disappointed during the holiday season. 

Now, you don’t have to be local to buy them. 

The Chamber has launched a new website — — where gift certificates can be purchased online. 

The certificates are sold increments of $5, $10, $20, $25 and $50. Each purchase includes a nominal fee to cover processing and shipping. Gift Certificates can be delivered to an address of the purchaser’s choice. 

“Chamber Gift Certificates continue to be a popular local gift and make sure that local dollars truly stay local,” said Meme Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO. “We’re excited to offer this new option — just in time for the holiday shopping season — so that no matter where you are, getting Chamber Gift Certificates for yourself or a loved one is only a click away.” 

Of course, Chamber Gift Certificates are available for purchase at the Chamber’s headquarters, 301 N. Union St., during normal business hours — 9 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

The Chamber instituted its Gift Certificate Program in 1995. During that first year, the Chamber sold $9,000 in certificates, with 35 member businesses participating in the program.  There are now more than 250 member businesses participating in this year-round certificate program.  

“This program keeps people shopping with our Chamber members,” said Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s membership outreach coordinator.  “This unique program encourages shoppers to discover all the products and services available from our local area businesses.  You may be surprised at what you will find. After all, it is good business to do business with Chamber members.”

The 2017 program saw $300,000 in certificate sales, with the December sales totalling $141,935. 

Chamber gift certificates are the right gift for everyone, they won’t be returned, and they won’t be the wrong color or size.  Local companies purchase them as holiday gifts for their employees, retirement presents, and even, workplace incentives.

For more information on Chamber Gift Certificates, call 716-372-4433.


Briefly speaking...


Olean Area Young Professionals announces December event

Olean Area Young Professionals is holding its next monthly networking event from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 6, at Four Mile Brewing for an evening of networking and celebration. This event marks the group’s second anniversary. 

Several items have been donated by OAYP supporters and will be raffled off. 

Food will be provided and a cash bar will be available. 

We hope you can join us — it doesn’t matter if you’ve been to one of our events or all of them during this past year. And don’t be afraid to bring a friend, as well. 

Register here:


Business After Hours set for Dec. 12. 

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Business After Hours at 7:30 a.m., Dec. 12,  at its North Union Street offices. Immediately following, the Chamber’s Board of Directors will convene for its 2018 Annual Meeting. Chamber members are encouraged to attend both events. 


Santa Claus Will Officially Open Santa’s Cottage

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Olean, Home Depot, and Duggan and Duggan General Contractors will host the ‘Visit with Santa’ at his cottage in Olean’s Lincoln Park.  Santa Claus will visit with the children from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. 

A mailbox, created by families of the EvenStart program, was constructed and is placed by Santa’s Cottage in Lincoln Park.  Santa is encouraging all children to write a letter to Santa and place it in the mailbox.  

In addition to the Santa visits, many activities are planned for this holiday season. You can get events information by visiting or by calling 716-372-4433. 

Whipple, Granger Family Businesses, Fox Financial, Red's and Trudy's honored by Chamber



Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce recognized four fixtures in the local business community at its Annual Dinner held on Nov. 1 at Good Times of Olean’s Events Center. 

Jack Whipple was awarded the 2018 L.O.U.I.E. Award. The L.O.U.I.E. Award is bestowed upon an individual who symbolizes the enterprising spirit for the greater Olean community, qualities which were embodied in the life of Louis Marra.

Both Granger Family Businesses and Fox Financial were each given the 2018 Enterprising Business Award. The honor is presented to a business or a non-profit organization which exemplifies the unique “hometown” charm of the greater Olean area in manners of administration/operation, customer service, or display of inventory. 

New this year was the Presidential Award, an honor given to a business, organization or individual that are iconic and integral to the fabric of the business community in the greater Olean area. Recipients are selected by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Red’s and Trudy’s received the award. 

More than 300 people attended the Annual Dinner to honor this year’s winners. 


Ornaments depicting Bradner Stadium, Henry H. Hill Auto now on sale at Chamber 



The newest additions to the Chamber’s holiday ornament series are on sale now. 

This year’s ornaments depict Bradner Stadium and Henry H. Hill Auto. 

Through the ornament sales, holiday lights are funded and can be lit in Olean from November to early January.  The ornament, created by artist Kathleen McDonald, is $25 and can be bought at the Chamber’s office at 301 N. Union St. 

Many of the previously made ornaments are still available with a limited inventory.  The first to be unveiled was the Olean Municipal Building.  In 2000, the Fannie E. Bartlett House was depicted, followed in 2001 with St. Mary of the Angels Church.  Olean High School came next in 2002 (and is sold out at GOACC but is sold by the OHS Alumni Association), St. Stephen’s Church in 2003 (sold out), St. Bonaventure University in 2004, and in 2005, a depiction of Santa Claus Lane.  In 2006, the Olean General Hospital was created, in 2007, the ornament was the Olean Post Office, 2008 was Community Bank, NA with 2009 Ivers J. Norton.  The next ornaments are 2010 Castle Restaurant, 2011 St. Francis Hospital, 2012 Chuck Wagon Restaurant, 2013 Palace Theater, 2014 Boardmanville Elementary and 2015 Red’s and Trudy’s.  

Ornaments can also be shipped outside Olean for an additional $6 for shipping/handling charges per ornament.   For more information on the ornament or Santa Claus Lane activities, please call GOACC at 716/372-4433, stop in the office, or email


Chamber offering workshop on human resources 


All businesses must comply with federal and state employment laws and regulations and the laws are constantly changing. Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and member business, Paychex have scheduled a workshop for noon on Tuesday, Dec 4, in the Chamber’s conference room. Topics that will be covered include mandatory sexual harassment training, paid family leave, minimum wage changes, etc.

“By Oct. 9, 2019, employers must provide sexual harassment training to all employees located in New York State. Subsequently, employers must provide sexual harassment training to all employees each year,” stated Erica Dreher, the Chamber’s membership outreach coordinator.

Charlotte Cowley, a small-medium business consultant with Paychex added, “On Jan. 1, 2018, New York State's Paid Family Leave provides New Yorkers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service abroad.”

These 2018 and 2019 HR and tax-related issues are facing businesses of all sizes and industries. Paychex, Inc., a Chamber member, will be discussing this valuable information that will affect your business in the upcoming months.  

Also, the minimum wage continues to rise to reach $15 an hour. The minimum wage for the rest of the state (outside NYC) will rise to $11.10 at the end of 2018, $11.80 at the end of 2019, and $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020.  This presentation is free and open to all employers. 

To register, please call 716-372-4433 or email



40+ area organization participating in Cattaraugus Gives on Nov. 27


Over 40 nonprofits in Cattaraugus County are now committed to participating in Cattaraugus Gives again this year through the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.Your gift during Cattaraugus Gives on November 27 makes a difference in our community. 

Organizations committed to participating include:

African American Center for Cultural Development

Allegheny Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America

Archbishop Walsh Academy/Southern Tier Catholic School

Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties Project Head Start

Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation

Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP)

Cornell Cooperative Extensions

Council on Addiction Recovery Services

Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation

Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center

Ellicottville-Great Valley Recreational Trail, Inc.

Empire Animal Rescue Society

Friends of Allegany State Park

Friends of the Library of Olean, NY

Golf "Fore" Heroes

HomeCare & Hospice

Joyful Rescues

Love INC of Springville

Meals on Wheels of Cattaraugus County

Olean 1854 FC

Olean City School District Foundation

Olean Community Theatre

Olean Food Pantry

Olean General Hospital Foundation

Olean Meditation Center

Olean Parks Beautification Fund

Olean Theatre Workshop

Parent Education Program

Pfeiffer Nature Center

Rebuilding Together

Rural Revitalization Corp

Saving Grace Outreach

Seneca Iroquois Museum

Southern Tier Health Care System

Southern Tier Symphony

SPCA in Cattaraugus County 

St. Elizabeth Mission Society

The Pink Pumpkin Project

Tri-County Arts Council

United Way of Cattaraugus County

Veggie Wheels

YMCA of the Twin Tiers

A gift to your favorite nonprofit or a couple of your favorite nonprofits can help them be eligible for up to $5,000 in CRCF-sponsored incentives. So get ready to make your gift on Tuesday, November 27 at 

You can also support your favorite organization by check or cash if you prefer! Keep in mind that your gift will only help that organization win prizes if it is received and entered before or on November 27, so mail your gift today or plan to deliver it!

Our website,, will become a scoreboard to keep you up to date on all of the organizations' success all day on November 27, so remember to check in for updates!





Leadership Cattaraugus accepting applications 

for 2019 class 

Scholarship applications are available for Leadership Cattaraugus’ Class of 2019 applicants through the organization’s scholarship fund, managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

The Leadership Cattaraugus board of directors established the Leadership Cattaraugus Scholarship Fund at CRCF to make participation in the program more affordable for worthy future leaders in the community.

The application is available at Applicants must email their completed application by Dec. 31 to be eligible. The CRCF Scholarship Committee will review the applications and recommend the awardees. Scholarship applicants must also apply for admission to the 2019 Leadership Cattaraugus class at

The fund provides scholarships to cover the lesser of 25 percent of the cost of tuition or $400. The number and amount of awards varies based on the strength of applicants and availability of funding.

Applicants must live in and/or work in Cattaraugus County and be employed by a small (fewer than 100 employees) government entity, nonprofit or small business independently owned and operated in Cattaraugus County.

Applicants are judged by criteria including, but not limited to, the following:

•     The individual is an existing or emerging leader as demonstrated by holding a leadership position in his/her organization or expecting to move into a leadership position within his/her organization in the next six to 12 months.

•   Serves as a formal or informal leader in his/her community. Examples include:

•   Serving as an elected official.

•  Leadership in a civic or faith-based activity outside of the workplace.

•  Coaching a sport.

•  Coordinating a community activity/fundraising effort, etc.

•  Has a vested interest in creating sustainable vibrant Cattaraugus County communities as demonstrated by community volunteerism and other similar activities.

• Engages in or expresses willingness to engage in community service activities (volunteerism, community campaigns, service on a board, etc.)

Awarded for the first time in 2018, the fund made possible two scholarships of $325 each to support class members.

Leadership Cattaraugus’ goal is to identify future leaders of the area and help them develop the skills they will need to work more effectively for the betterment of all the people in Cattaraugus County.

Donations can be made to the Leadership Cattaraugus Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at





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Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •