OLEAN, NY – With less than a week until the Santa Claus Lane Parade, officials from Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce have registered more than 25 units for the upcoming Friday event, in which Santa and Mrs. Claus lights thousands of lights in downtown Olean. The ever-popular Parade is the official kick-off to the holiday season in the area.

The Santa Claus Lane committee encourages area organizations and businesses to participate in the parade with a float, send in a musical unit, or display historical/public vehicles in the parade.

“Our gratitude and appreciation go to the City of Olean, National Grid Co. and Spectrum employees who have dedicated time and effort over the past 30 years to assist us in bringing joy and happiness to our residents and more importantly to our children,” stated Meme K. Yanetsko, GOACC COO.

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The parade will begin at Delaware Avenue and North Union Street, and proceed south on North Union. Santa and Mrs. Claus will have their traditional countdown of the lights coming on at the intersection of State and Union.

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

Winners will be announced the night of the parade. Eight awards will be presented 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 Mallery’s Auto Body 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 Good Times Events Center, will go to the float or unit that best typifies the holiday through the eyes of a child; Jingle Bells Award, sponsored by Microtel Inn of Olean, will go to the best theatrical (music/dance) float or unit; and The Sleigh Award, presented by Reisner Law Groupwill go to the most decorated larger truck (fire truck, flatbed, utility vehicles, etc.)

Delaware Avenue will be closed to traffic at 6 p.m. with North Union Street closing to traffic at 6:45 PM. 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 PM.  Extra uniformed personnel of the Olean Fire and Police Departments will be on hand.  Lost children should report to the Chamber office, and a wheelchair only section will be roped off in front of the Chamber office/City Building.

The Parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.on  Friday, near the Burger King on North Union Street in Olean.

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.

Although there is no official deadline for parade applications, GOACC urges all participants to get the information into the Chamber by November 20. All parade participants must sign waivers, and Chamber officials ask that all waivers be handed in by Friday, to the offices at 301 N. Union St.

GOACC is also encouraging organizations to participate in these other Thanksgiving week events: Thursday's Twin Tiers Striders Turkey Trot and the Nov. 25 holiday celebrations in both Portville and Allegany. Also Small Business Saturday / StrOlean will also be Nov. 25.  For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane or other Greater Olean Area events and activities, please call 716-372-4433 or email info@oleanny.com.