StrOlling along for StrOlean

Visitors walk down North Union Street during the third StrOlean event of 2019.

OLEAN — StrOlean fans will have to wait another year before hitting the pavement.

Meme Yanetsko, chief operating officer of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that the StrOlean downtown event would not take place as planned Saturday.

“Although extremely upset by another cancellation, we completely understand the scenario of events over 50 with the safety and health of our volunteers, staff, and attendees,” she said.

While it may have been possible to socially distance, Yanetsko said, Cattaraugus County Department of Health officials discouraged the event, while clarification of state COVID-19 restrictions also complicated matters.

“It was not recommended to draw a crowd of that size to an isolated downtown area,” she said.

In addition, it was clarified that the state’s restriction of 50 people at any event included the scattered StrOlean.

“For this event, there are several locations that would host people,” Yanetsko said. “We assumed each location would be regulated with the max of 50 people, enabling the event to be held. However, as it is all under one event name, StrOlean cannot be held this weekend or later in October.”

The bulk of major Chamber events for 2020 were canceled, including three StrOlean events, the Home Show, and the Sports, Recreation and Fitness Expo. However, the Allegheny River Running Fest was held earlier this month, while the Corporate Challenge 5K Run and Walk will be virtually starting Thursday.

Two events are remaining on the schedule — the annual dinner, set for Nov. 5, and the Santa Claus Lane Parade on Nov. 27.

“We are hoping for some kind of change in number for outdoor events in winter,” Yanetsko said, with officials meeting this week to discuss the post-Thanksgiving Day parade. “As far as the dinner, it could be at 50% of restaurant capacity.”

There is good news for events for next year, though. The Chamber’s Events Committee met last week, Yanetsko said, and has given the go ahead for all events to return in 2021.

For more information on GOACC or its activities/programs, call the Chamber at 372-4433 or email

(Contact City Editor Bob Clark at Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)