With just under two weeks to go until the Santa Claus Lane Parade, officials from Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce have registered more than twenty units.

On Nov. 29, Santa and Mrs. Claus will light thousands of lights in downtown Olean. The ever-popular parade is the official kick-off to the holiday season in the area. The parade committee encourages area organizations and businesses to participate in the parade with a float, send in a musical unit, or display historical and public vehicles in the parade.

“Our gratitude and appreciation go to the city of Olean and KelKur Electrical Service 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 Erica Dreher, membership services associate.

The parade will begin at Delaware Avenue and North Union Street, and proceed south on North Union. BOTH SIDES of North Union Street will be used by parade participants. 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; Max Bullers, Home Depot of Olean, and Eric Garvin, Community Bank NA. 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 the Times Herald will go to the most photogenic float or unit; The Seasons Greetings Award, sponsored by Olean PC Repair and Security Cameras by Joe Duplechian 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 Owl Homes Group, will go to the float or unit that best typifies the holiday through the eyes of a child; Jingle Bells Award, sponsored by Milestone Financial Strategies, will go to the best theatrical (music/dance) float or unit; and The Sleigh Award, presented by The Bantelman Agency, will 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 p.m. 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 p.m. Extra uniformed personnel of the Olean Fire and Police Departments will be on hand. Lost children should report to the Chamber office, and additional handicapped parking will be available on the East State Street side of the City Building.

The Parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m on Friday, November 29, near the Burger King on North Union Street in Olean. The parade will stagger and use both sides of the street.

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 25. All parade participants must have a waiver signed and Chamber officials ask that all waivers be handed in by November 29, to the offices at 301 N. Union Street

GOACC is encouraging organizations to participate in these other Thanksgiving week events: Nov. 28 — Twin Tiers Striders Turkey Trot; and Nov. 30 — Portville and Allegany will host holiday celebrations. Small Business Saturday will also be held Saturday throughout the area.

For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane or other Greater Olean Area events and activities, call 372-4433 or email info@oleanny.com.