Event grows bigger, gets better in 2016
By Terry Duffy
Don't look now, but Christmas and holiday celebrating is again upon us.
The Niagara Electric Lights Parade, regarded by many as the leadoff for the area's rather lengthy list of seasonal celebrations, is today, along Military Road in Niagara Falls. Presented by the Town of Niagara Business and Professional Association, the annual event draws families, brightly decorated floats, and music. It sets the stage for a host of holiday festivities in the area.
Another event in coming weeks is the annual Ransomville Festival of Wreaths, taking place all day Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26 and 27, in the hamlet of Ransomville. Presented by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with local businesses, the Festival of Wreaths has been an annual favorite for nearly two decades, and continues to get bigger and better each year.
"Great things are happening in the quaint hamlet of Ransomville," said event organizer Ruth Ann Buzzard.
One new happening for 2016 is The Ransomville Festival of the Wreaths Churches and Business Flag Parade, set to take place at 3 p.m. Nov. 27. It begins at the Ransomville Free Library on Ransomville Road and proceeds down the street to the nearby Hardison Funeral Home.
"Many of our local churches and businesses (will) march down Ransomville Road carrying their originally made flags," Buzzard said. "They designed their flags themselves to reflect their personal church or business."
Participants are creating flags with local graphic designers David Just and Kiera Fletcher. With production assistance by Old Glory Flags and Cooper Signs, Buzzard promised the parade display will be both colorful and entertaining.
"It will be exciting to see all the different flags with many different designs and colors," she said. "Many of the children and their families from our local churches and businesses will be caroling, and playing kazoos and ringing jingle bells to bring to you the beginning of the Christmas season."
From 1-3 p.m. Saturday, there will a special treat for children, with a visit from Cynthia Cotten of Lockport, a noted author of fiction and poetry for children for more than 30 years. Cotten will read from her works and discuss her writing process with the young visitors in a session taking place at the Ransomville Library.
"Ms. Cotton will read a few of the stories she has written, have a book signing and tell how she takes her ideas through to developing her stories," Buzzard said, adding every child will go home with a signed book.
Another event on Saturday is the Family Scavenger Hunt, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Johnston's Family Restaurant, 2575 Academy St. Buzzard said the activity, which starts and finishes at Johnston's, will feature teams of up to five participating, including a driver who must be age 21.
Registration and parental consent forms are available at Patti's Cut Above, 2568 Youngstown-Lockport Road. Prizes from the scavenger hunt will be awarded at 7 p.m.
Buzzard said Sunday, Nov. 27, will feature a full slate of community activities in the hamlet, including:
•9:30 a.m. community church service at the Ransomville Manor in the activities room.
•12:30-5:30 p.m. - Continuous shuttle bus service with stops at all event locations.
•12:30-3 p.m. - Open house events at Stevenson's Hardware, Ki-Po, the Care-n-Share Food Pantry, Patti's Cut Above (which is hosting a mini craft show), and at Johnston's Family Restaurant.
Also from 12:30 to 3 p.m. - Pictures with Santa at the Ransomville firehall; a basket raffle at the Ransomville Baptist Church; wreath contest voting at the American Legion, where visitors can vote for their top three community and business wreaths; plus carriage rides, wood carver demonstrations and ambulance and fire truck exhibits.
•1-3 p.m. - A petting zoo in the yard of the Ransomville Library, and children's activities inside the library; plus an open house and children's activities at the Ransomville Historical Room.
•3-3:30 p.m. - The Ransomville Festival of the Wreaths Churches and Business Flag Parade.
•3:45-4:40 p.m. - Magic show at the Ransomville firehall.
•4:45-5:15 p.m. - Closing ceremonies. Featured will be a concert by the Wilson High School Chorale, the naming of the wreath contest winners and the woodcarving raffle. Also, winners of the basket raffle at Ransomville Baptist Church, plus pickups of the contest wreaths at the American Legion.
"Please join us for all the events that the Ransomville Festival of Wreaths 2016 has to offer you," Buzzard said.
For more information, visit www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com 0r contact Buzzard at 716-791-4585.