Carriage rides, visits with Santa, holiday programs and more at festival
By Terry Duffy
Get ready to kick off your holiday season in the hamlet of Ransomville.
The 2018 edition of the Ransomville Festival of Wreaths will take place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. Visitors can look forward to fun, family-oriented activities taking place free of charge.
The event is presented by Ransomville-area merchants and businesses, in conjunction with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and Town of Porter. A variety of activities are on tap over the weekend, including author visits at the Ransomville Free Library followed by a family scavenger hunt on Saturday, and a jam-packed Sunday full of happenings - highlighted by open houses, picture-taking with Santa, holiday fun for the kids, the annual wreath contest and the parade down Youngstown Lockport Road.
•This year's schedule of events will feature:
√ Children's author Rachel DiNunzio and local author Kelly Artieri, author of "A Spot in My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog" visiting the Ransomville Free Library at 1 p.m. Copies of the authors' books are expected to be available.
The afternoon library event will also include a presentation on flag etiquette.
√ On Saturday evening, the annual Family Friendly Scavenger Hunt will take place at Johnston's Family restaurant. The competition is open to teams of five members or more (including the driver, who must be at least 21). Pre-registration is now underway at Patti's Cut Above and continues until Nov. 23.
•Sunday activities include:
√ A shuttle bus running on a continuous route in the hamlet from 12:30-5:30 p.m.
√ Open houses at Patti's Cut Above, the Care-N-Share Pantry, American Legion O. Leo Curtiss Post No. 330 and the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
√ The Ransomville firehall will have ambulance and fire demonstrations with refreshments (12:30-3:30 p.m.); entertainment by the Hot Country Line Dancers (2-3 p.m.); free pictures with Santa; a woodcarving demonstration and raffle; and the Charlie and Checkers Magic Show (3:30-4:30 p.m.).
The firehall will serve as the starting point for carriage rides throughout the afternoon. Visitors will find free lifts in front of the Mason Hall from 12:30-2 p.m.
√ A craft and vendor show with a basket raffle (to benefit Care-N-Share and the Ransomville ambulance fund) will run from 12:30-4 p.m. at Ransomville United Methodist Church.
√ The Ransomville Free Library will offer a variety children's programs both inside and outside, with a petting zoo on the front lawn. All activities from 1-3 p.m.
√ The Ransomville Festival of Wreaths Parade will lead off from Hardison's Funeral Home on Ransomville Road at 3 p.m.
√ Voting for the wreath-decorating contest (individual and business) will take place at the Curtiss American Legion Post from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The post will also serve as a refreshment location and drop-offs for Toys for Tots.
√ Festival closing ceremonies, including the annual Wilson High School chorale directed by Claudia Andres, the Lighting of the Wreath presentation, the announcement of 2018 wreath-decorating contest winners, raffle contest and the bear-carving winner will all take place at Ransomville Baptist Church, from 4:45-5:15 p.m.
The Ransomville Festival of Wreaths is free and open to the public. Families are invited to visit the hamlet for a weekend of holiday fun.
For more information, contact organizer Hap Skellan at 716-791-3302.