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First Niagara Bank presents annual downtown Christmas tree-lighting celebration

by jmaloni


Wed, Dec 4th 2013 08:30 am

Event will take place at Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza

On Saturday, Dec. 7, First Niagara Bank will present the "2013 Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration." This annual event marks the official opening of the free ice-skating season in downtown Buffalo. It is held at Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza (Main at Chippewa streets).

The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with free ice-skating. At 6 p.m., Buffalo Place officials will countdown the lighting of the tree. Santa Claus will light a fireworks display over Fountain Plaza.

"First Niagara is proud to partner with Buffalo Place to host the 'Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration,' and the ice skating season at Rotary Rink," said Gary Crosby, interim president and CEO of First Niagara. "We are committed to doing great things in Western New York, and unique events like these enhance the quality of life in our community, bring people into our city, and create the excitement and vibrancy that will help make our community stronger."

Distinguished guest speakers at the event will include Byron W. Brown, mayor of the City of Buffalo; Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County executive; Crosby; and Jim Tyrpak, president of the Rotary Club of Buffalo. The guests will speak briefly and then lead a countdown to the official lighting of the Christmas tree, which is followed by a fireworks display over Rotary Rink. Anthony J. Colucci III, president and vice chairman of Buffalo Place Inc., will serve as emcee for the program. Colucci will honor First Niagara for its commitment as presenting sponsor of the "Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting" event and the 2013-14 free ice-skating season at Rotary Rink.

Immediately following the fireworks and tree lighting, the fun will continue with visits with Santa, holiday gifts, horse and wagon rides, clowns and balloon art, face painting and ice-skating. Bring your own skates and enjoy free ice-skating. There is a $2 skate rental fee for children, and $3 skate rental fee for adults. Santa and his elves will visit with children from 6:15-8 p.m.

For 30 consecutive years, Buffalo Place has produced the "Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration," which is a marquee event showcasing the holiday season in downtown Buffalo.

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