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  Santa Claus Lane Parade returns this evening  



The ever-popular Santa Claus Lane Parade in Olean,  the greater Olean area’s official kick-off to the holiday season, returns tonight in downtown Olean. 

Delaware Avenue will be closed to traffic at 6 p.m. with North Union Street closing to traffic at 6:45 p.m.   The parking spaces along both sides of North Union between 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 830 PM. The detour route bypassing the parade is 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.  

“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,” said Chief Jeff Rowley of the city’s police department. 

The parade begins at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and North Union Street. 

Floats 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.

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. 

Mercy Flight of Western New York will officially lead  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.  

On the ground, Downbeat Percussion, the band performs at Buffalo Bills games and throughout the area, will lead parade units as they start down North Union. The band is continually stopping, going in through the crowd, playing features as they go down the street. They are definitely entertaining and people are generally really amazed with the synchronization of it.

Chamber officials have invited area residents to judge this year’s parade: Paula Snyder of Jamestown Community College; Max Bullers of Home Depot of Olean; and Eric Garvin of Community Bank, NA.  The judges will be located in a Close’s Lumber truck on North Union Street near Laurens Street intersection.

Eight awards will be presented to parade floats 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 Olean PC Repair and Security Cameras by Joe Duplechian 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 Milestone Financial Strategies, 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.  

Paul Brown Motor’s and Toys 4 Tots will be teaming up again this year.  Their goal is to collect as many toys as possible for Toys 4 Tots.  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

The City’s downtown parking lots will be opened and free to park.  The City Building’s restrooms will be opened the night of the parade from 6 - 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. 


Aall 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 - #15 line up on upper Delaware Avenue (between North Union Street and North Barry Street).  Arrive no earlier than 630 p.m.

Mercy Flight in the AIR

Olean Police Department

Down Beat Percussion Band

City Of Olean

Paul Brown Motors

Girl Scout Troop 10337

Bolivar Fire Department

Tanglewood/ Field of Dreams

Step Up Dance Academy

Knights of Columbus Council #338

Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby

Portville Fire Department

Rick Bokman

Trans Am Olean 10 w/ Dance Arts

Dance Arts w/ Trans Am Flycar


Units #16-48 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 630 PM


Knapp Creek Fire Department

Enchanted Mountain Homeschool Explorers

Olean YMCA After School Programs

Storm Athletics All-Star Cheer

Girl Scout Troop 10732

Southern Tier Lightning Softball

Olean Area Federal Credit Union

Neighborhood School of Dance

Eden Heights

COLORS and Veronyca Showgirls

Hungry Burro, The 

Olean Area Youth Hockey Organization

100.1 The Hero 

Olean Cub Scout Pack 617

Shamrock Found Farms / Heads and Tails 4H

Town of Olean Volunteer Fire Department

Enchanted Mountain Jeep Wrangler Club

Portville Cub Scout Pack 631 

Ardent Solutions

Toad's Butcher Shop

Hinsdale Volunteer Fire Department

Olean Youth Huskies

Auto Details 2 Decals

Conkey's Automotive

Olean Post Office

Limestone Volunteer Fire Department

Worth W. Smith Co.

Olean Educational Support Personnel Association

Whistle Stop Feed Shop

Whitetails Unlimited

OHS Marching Band

Olean Fire Department and North Pole

Olean Police Department

For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane or other Greater Olean Area events and activities, please call 716-372-4433 or email


Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at their new

Lincoln Square Home


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Olean will host the visits with Santa at the newly built cottage in Olean’s Lincoln Park.  The jolly old elf and his wife will see children from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 11.  Some “elves in training” from the Olean Intermediate Middle School Student Activities Council will be assisting them with the visitors. 

The Claus Cottage was a part of Lincoln Square, a $1.25 million project through Empire State Development which provided permanent buildings to house the Olean Farmers Market and other events at Olean’s Lincoln Park. 

A mailbox, created by families of the EvenStart program, is located near the cottage, and Santa  encourages all children to write him a letter and place it in the mailbox. 

For the December 11th visit, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts ArtMobile will be at the Visit with Santa.  The crew with the ArtMobile will organize and present an art activity for the kids to make and take as they wait for Santa.

In addition to the Santa visits, many activities are planned for this holiday season. You can get events information by visiting For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane, please call 716-372-4433 or email

Other events this holiday season:

Visit with Santa in Allegany – Come visit with Santa at his location in Allegany.  Santa's house is located next to the Village of Allegany's municipal building located across from St. Elizabeth's Motherhouse on Route 417. 

Olean’s Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony — This local event, organized in memory of Noah Boser, who died at the age of 7 months, and for all other children who have died, is held every year on the second Sunday in December. Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting, this is part of a larger worldwide event held in communities around the globe, organized by The Compassionate Friends and held every year on the second Sunday in December, with candles lit at 7 p.m. in every time zone.

The local event will be held Dec. 8 in Lincoln Park. Parents, grandparents, siblings, families and friends, who would like to honor the memory of a child, are invited to bring a photograph or memento of their child to display during the memorial services. Candles will be provided for everyone to light. Music and poems will be read, and if anyone would like to participate, they are encouraged to do so. Cookies and hot cocoa will be available.

For further information, contact Kathy Boser at 716-373-0406 or e-mail Beth Boser at

Twelve skating days of Christmas: Through the generosity of Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Olean Division of Youth & Recreation Services is offering free admission for public ice skating on Dec. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the  William O. Smith Rec Center.  There is a $2 skate rental fee. Additionally, free admission will also happen other days in December between Dec. 19 and Jan. 1 thanks to other sponsors.


 Chamber seeks new event name from public


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a new event on Sept. 12 — a half marathon race that will feature a BBQ competition.

In planning for the event, the Chamber could use a hand from the public. 

Chamber officials are now accepting suggestions for the event’s name. 

“Our Events Committee has kicked around some names,  such as ‘Stampede of the Squirrels,’ ‘BBQ Battle,’ and even ‘Squirrel City USA Fest,’” said Meme Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO. “While decent suggestions, none have yet resonated with us yet. We’re hoping that someone from the community can help us nail down a name that captures the essence of this event.”

In addition to a half marathon and a BBQ competition, the event will likely include an artisan’s fair and family friendly activities. 

Event name suggestions should be sent to the Chamber by  Dec.16.  The winner will receive a t-shirt with the festival’s name on it and a $250 in Chamber gift certificate.

Contest guidelines include: all event names must be original creations of the contestant that have never been published and does not contain profanity, trademarks, logos, or copyrighted works of any other person or business. In addition, the winner consents to the Chamber using the name for the event.

For more information or a registration form, please contact the Chamber at 716-372-4433.


Olean Area Young Professionals announces third anniversary party


Olean Area Young Professionals is holding its third anniversary party/ monthly networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5, at Four Mile Brewing. Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar. The group will also be holding several raffles throughout the evening. Attendees are asked to register at the group’s Facebook page. 



Leaders in business community recognized at

Chamber's 114th Annual Dinner 


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce honored two businesses, one organization and a local businessman for their contributions to the community at its 114th Annual Dinner. 

The event, held Nov. 7 at Good Times of Olean’s Events Center, saw nearly 250 attendees. 

Honored this year were Brian O’Connell Jr., who received the L.O.U.I.E. Award, the Chamber’s highest award given to an individual who symbolizes the enterprising spirit of commercial growth and admiration for the greater Olean community; Angee’s Restaurant and Henry H. Hill Inc., which both received the Enterprising Business Award, an honor given to companies which exemplify the unique hometown charm of the greater Olean area through enriching the community and commercial growth; and Olean Family YMCA, which won 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.

(from left) Pictured are: Cathy and Tom Derx of Henry H. Hill, Inc.;  Anthony and Lisa Fratercangelo of Angee’s Restaurant; Brian O’Connell Jr.; Barb Sweitzer and Mike Hendrix of Olean Family YMCA; and Andrew Caya, Chamber Board President. 


Brighten the holidays by shopping local


Looking for that perfect gift for that special someone?  The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce wants to remind holiday shoppers that they can find the perfect gift for everyone and shop local through chamber gift certificates. 

The Chamber  instituted the Shop Olean Gift Certificate Program in 1995 and that year, certificates totaling $9,000 were sold with 35 member businesses involved in the program.  The Chamber now has more than 282 member businesses are participating in this year-round certificate program.  The certificates are sold at the Chamber’s office at 301 N. Union St., Olean, in increments of $5, $10, $20, $25 and $50.

Last year, the Chamber unveiled an online shopping site to enable anyone to shop virtually for the Chamber gift certificates, holiday ornaments and squirrel merchandise.  The site,, powered by Shopify was created by Chamber volunteer, Adam Jester.  The site came online November 22, 2018 and through year’s end saw $5,275 in gift certificate sales as well as $452 in other merchandise from the Chamber.

How does the Shop Olean Gift Certificates work?  Anyone can buy these gift certificates and at the time of purchase a listing of all the Chamber members who accept certificates.  There is no cost to the members or the people who receive them.  The Chamber provides this service to our members at no cost.

“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.”

 In 2018 $320,000 in gift certificates were sold, $140,467 in December.  

Purchasing Shop Olean Gift Certificates is one of the best ways to ensure that the money is spent locally and also helps increase local, county and state tax dollars.   

For more information on Chamber gift certificates, stop by the Chamber’s office, Olean, call 716-372-4433, or visit


Chamber sets next Cash Mob


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce has set its next Cash Mob from 4 to 6 p.m., Dec. 3, at a location to be announced. The event is the second Cash Mob of the 2019-20 Member Networking Event season.   

What is a Cash Mob: Inspired by ‘flash mobs,’ a cash mob occurs when a group of people assembles to make purchases in support of local businesses and the overall community.  This is a great way to encourage our community to shop small and raise awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses.  A cash mob is the perfect way to rally our community, create excitement, and drive sales.

 WHAT DO YOU DO at a CASH MOB? At the mob, there are FOUR RULES for attendees:

1.      Be courteous to the business owner and staff

2.      Spend $20

3.      Meet 3 people you didn’t know before

4.      Take lots of pictures. Mobbers will be encouraged to post to Social Media tagging the business and using the suggested hashtags: #cashmob #cityname

The Chamber will announce the location closer to the event. 



Village of Ellicottville nets $300k grant for skatepark


The Ellicottville Skatepark Committee (SK8EVL) and the Village of Ellicottville have been awarded a $300,000 Built to Play Skatepark Grant to help develop a public skatepark.

SK8EVL has been advocating over the past year to rally the community, as well as municipal leaders, to support a public skatepark project. The hard work paid off this month when the award was announced by the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Brenda Perks, lead skatepark advocate for SK8EVL says, “We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with the Tony Hawk Foundation to bring a skatepark to our community. Having this type of facility in Ellicottville - one that is open to the public and free to use - will give our youth a place to go where they can be active and express themselves through the sport of skateboarding.”

Perks, other SK8EVL members, and supporters of the skatepark will be presenting to the Village of Ellicottville Board of Trustees on Monday, November 18th at 6:00 pm. The presentation will include the official announcement of the Built to Play Skatepark Grant award, and a discussion regarding next steps and timelines for the project. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Ellicottville Village Hall, 1 West Washington Street.

“Having this grant will help a dream come true for our community,” says John Burrell, Mayor of Ellicottville. “We are so fortunate and we look forward to creating a skatepark within our Village Park, which not only serves our full-time residents and part-time residents, but also serves many nearby communities.”

An Ellicottville Skatepark Fund has been established with the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation. Those wishing to donate directly to the fund can do so through their secured website,  Or you can access the link through the Ellicottville Skatepark Project’s website,

Built to Play Skatepark Grants are offered through a partnership between the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Tony Hawk Foundation. The grant initiative offers matching-grant funds of up to $250,000. The Built to Play Skatepark Program supports community groups and municipal entities throughout Western NY and SE Michigan that are seeking to create free, public skateparks that serve low-income communities. Built to Play Skatepark Grants also include an additional $50,000 to fund processes and design features that lessen the environmental impact of the skatepark. The Built to Play Skatepark Program also provides advisory services and advocacy training to assist groups in organizing and managing their efforts.


CRCF to lead Cattaraugus Gives  


Cattaraugus Gives, the Cattaraugus region’s day of giving, led by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, will return this year on Dec. 3 to continue its growth in raising funds and awareness for nonprofits and charitable causes in the region.

Cattaraugus Gives is a 24-hour online fundraising blitz, bringing together nonprofits from all over the region in friendly fundraising competition, with the overall goal of creating a more compassionate, giving community. 

In 2018, 47 nonprofit organizations together raised just short of $32,000 to benefit programs and projects in Cattaraugus County during Cattaraugus Gives. CRCF also offered $5,000 in monetary incentives to participating organizations.

This year, the community foundation hopes to facilitate significant growth for the Cattaraugus Gives program, said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit.

“We have been very pleased with the outcome of Cattaraugus Gives in its first two years,” said Buchheit, “But we believe this has the potential to be something far greater this year, and that is why we have invested so much in the program.”

The Cattaraugus Gives program will be held as a stand-alone giving day this year, led and organized solely by CRCF, rather than as part of the NYGivesDay program as in past years as the NYGIVES program will not take place this year.

As part of this change, the Foundation plans to provide a far more extensive prize package for participating organizations, Buchheit said. Such as prizes for most donors overall, most donors during specific time periods, “golden ticket” random drawings for any organization that receives a gift during a time period and more.

CRCF is currently seeking sponsorships from business in the community to provide more prize opportunities. Businesses interested in sponsoring a prize can contact the Foundation at or 716-301-2723.

The Cattaraugus Gives program also has a brand new logo as well as a new website,

“We feel that is time, especially as we think about our 25th anniversary year, that we make Cattaraugus Gives into an even bigger event,” said Buchheit. “Sponsorships will be a huge part of that as we encourage more groups to participate and invest more time and effort in the program. This Foundation has always been forward-thinking, and we want Cattaraugus Gives to be at the center of not just our growth, but of the entire community’s growth.”

Registration will open Sept. 16 at The program’s first free training webinar will take place Sept. 27. The Foundation will hold a viewing of the webinar followed by an open question session beginning at noon that day in the Olean Business Development building’s third-floor Sr. Margaret Carney training room Lunch will be provided at the training site for those who register in advance.

Anyone nonprofit representative interested in attending the webinar session should contact Kirk Windus, CRCF communications and fund development manager, at

“We hope the community will continue to embrace the Cattaraugus Gives program and help it make even more of an impact this year,” said Buchheit. “Our community nonprofits work so hard all year to make the community a better place, and this is the perfect opportunity for the community to give back to them.

“After all, we all win when Cattaraugus gives,” Buchheit said.

 To learn more about how to support Cattaraugus Gives, visit


2020 Squirrel Calendars available




Woodland in the City (Woodland) and the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce have created the 13 edition of the Woodland in the City Squirrel Calendar for 2020.  Again this year, the calendar features local families who turned in photos with their relatives appearing with the squirrels throughout Olean. 


Each calendar includes information all the squirrels in town.  It also showcases National Squirrel Day, National Squirrel Awareness Month, and many ‘nuts’ days – peanut, almond, etc.  We just love the squirrels that populate the many professional sports fields.  A map depicting locations of all squirrels is inside. The calendar, sold at the GOACC office, sells for $8 or two for $12 with limited copies (85) are available.


In other squirrel news, GOACC has many squirrel items/memorabilia for sale.  The Chamber has peace love and squirrel tees, plush squirrels, a squirrel ornament, Woodland squirrel bookmarks, and the third printed edition of Woodland in the City Squirrel Guide Book.  Item prices range from $1 - $15.




November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

Annual Report 2018

February 2019

January 2019

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

July 2017

June 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January Newsletter - 2017


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

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