By Terry Duffy
Get ready to kick off your holiday season in the hamlet of Ransomville.
The 2017 Ransomville Festival of Wreaths will take place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25 and Nov. 26, with fun, family-oriented events taking place free of charge in the community both days.
Presented by the Ransomville area merchants and businesses in conjunction the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, visitors can look forward to a variety of activities over the weekend, from author visits at the Ransomville Free Library followed by a family scavenger hunt on Saturday, to a jam-packed Sunday full of happenings, highlighted by the annual Wreath Contest and the 2017 Ransomville Bicentennial Parade.
"We have some great events that are coming to Ransomville!" said event organizer Ruth Anne Buzzard of Ruth Anne's Beauty Shop.
As noted, Saturday will feature appearances by WNY-area book authors Rachel DiNunzio and Beth Livingston who will present their works carrying the common themes of "love, kindness and acceptance." The two authors, whose works include children's books and adult reading, will visit the Ransomville Free Library from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.
"These authors are exceptional," said Buzzard, who added each visitor who attends the afternoon session will receive a free book, compliments of the authors.
That evening, the annual family scavenger hunt runs from 4-7 p.m. at Johnston's Restaurant on Academy Street. Pre-registration for this activity can be made during regular business at Patti's Cut Above from now through Nov. 24. Teams will consist of a maximum of five participants, including a driver who must age 21 or older. Prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m.
•Sunday will feature an afternoon full of activities throughout the hamlet, including:
12:30-3 p.m. - Chili sale by Eastern Stars and free popcorn by the Masons.
12:30-3 p.m. - Open house at Patti's Cut Above, with drawings and vendors.
12:30-3 p.m. - Basket raffle at Ransomville Baptist Church to benefit the Care & Share Food Pantry and Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. ambulance fund.
12:30-3 p.m. - Wreath contest voting at the American Legion. Vote for the top three community and business wreaths; prizes will be awarded at the closing ceremony.
3 p.m. - The 2017 Ransomville Bicentennial Festival Parade begins at the Ransomville Free Library and continues to Hardison Funeral Home.
Open to participants all ages, the parade will feature singers Carmen and Lizzy (www.facebook.com/carmenandlizzymusic) with free T-shirts provided and free kazoos and jingle bells.
•Activities at the Ransomville Firehall include:
12:30-2:30 p.m. - Ambulance and fire truck tours. Touch the truck and enjoy refreshments.
12:30-3 p.m. - Pictures with Santa, a woodcarver demonstration, with a drawing to win a bear carving ($1 or six tickets for $5), and carriage rides starting at the firehall and throughout the hamlet.
2-3 p.m. - Performance by the Country Line Dancers.
3:45-4:30 p.m. - Magic show by Charlie and Checkers.
•Still more activities include: 1-3 p.m., children's activities in the library with a petting zoo on the front lawn; 1-3 p.m., visit the Christmas donkey at the Ransomville Free Methodist Church, with refreshments served; 1-3 p.m., Clowns CoraBelle and Friend with balloons and face painting, plus children's activities and Christmas customs at the Ransomville Historical Room; and 4:45-5:15 p.m., closing ceremonies with Wilson High School Chorale directed by Claudia Andres, the Lighting of the Wreath, the naming of the Wreath Contest winners, winner of the carving, plus basket raffle results, all taking place at the Ransomville Baptist Church.
A shuttle bus will offer continuous service to all events from 12:30-5 p.m.
Organizers note the Festival of Wreaths committee volunteered its time throughout the year to organize this annual event and solicit sponsors for a free, family-friendly happening.
They welcome readers to stop by.