SALAMANCA — The annual Silver Bells in the City Festival is comprised of a variety of community events and extends over a longer time period than most festivals.
One of the newest annual traditions that helps kick off the season in Salamanca is the Silver Bells Christmas Parade, now in its third year.
The parade will step off from the corner of Main and Atlantic streets promptly at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and make its way down to Jefferson Street Park where a tree lighting ceremony will be held immediately after.
“It’s a great way to kick off the Christmas season by all of us coming together to celebrate the season of giving to joyfully light up the night,” said Donna Raahauge, parade organizer.
As of Nov. 22, Raahauge said they have 16 entries, including Santa, who said he will definitely be there. It’s still early, but she said they’re expecting more entries.
“I have contacted some of the groups that participated in the Falling Leaves Parade to see if they will participate in the Silver Bells Parade,” she added.
Last year, Raahauge said they had 15 units in the parade, so they are already ahead, and anticipates that 20 to 25 units will sign up by next week, which she said would be terrific. “That would make this parade approximately half the size of the Falling Leaves Parade.”
If individuals or groups want to sign up for the Christmas parade, there are two options.
First, you can go to the Salamanca Seneca Falling Leaves Festival page, get the Silver Bells Parade application, fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, the time saver option, give Raahauge a call at (716) 378-5468 and she’ll fill out the application for you over the phone.
Anyone can enter the parade. The only requirement is that the unit must have Christmas lights on it since it’s a night parade.
“Have a car or truck? Let it shine with lights! Have a tractor? Light it up! Have a bike or motorcycle? Light them up!” she said. “Have horses? Give them some bells and lights. Let’s really light up the town and have a joyful time!”
With so many moving parts, Raahauge said she doesn’t do it alone
“Levi Sponeybarger is the Tech Elf for the parade, and without whom I absolutely could not organize either this parade or the Falling Leaves parade,” she said.
After the parade, activities will continue with the tree lighting ceremony in the park next to Rite Aid. There will be a bonfire, pictures with Santa, music, hot cocoa and holiday treats.
“This is one of my favorite times of the year, and it gives me great joy to be able to give back to the community by coordinating the Christmas Parade,” Raahauge said.
For more information about Silver Bells in the City events, visit www.salamancachamber.org.
(Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at email@example.com)