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There’s no place like Hamburg for Christmas

HAMBURG — Hamburgh Holidays is both a series of holiday-themed events and the name of an all-volunteer community organization in Hamburg.

The group oversees the events that began last weekend, with the Green Friday village shopping spree. That event was Hamburg’s alternative to the nationwide Black Friday.

Green Friday was followed by Saturday’s Santa Claus Parade, which wended along Main and Buffalo streets.

Hamburgh Holidays began, when a small group of people came together over drinks at the Hamburg Hotel in the early 1960s. “Hamburgh Holidays is the story of the passing of the years, and many people’s time, talents, financial contributions and belief in the importance of community holiday traditions,” said the late June Pearl, a longtime chair of the organization, several years ago. “Every Hamburgh Holidays volunteer leaves seeds, some more than others.”

Hamburgh Holiday events are supported by donations and fundraising events and by local merchants and residents.

During Green Friday, free trolleys took shoppers throughout the village of Hamburg, to shop at the many local retail businesses. The event also included prizes, discounts and entertainment, including singers, musicians and dancers.

During Hamburg’s annual Santa Claus Parade, floats and musicians, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Brownies were out in full force. For details about the parade, see The Sun’s coverage of the parade on pages 1 and 16. Parade coordinator Eileen Hotho called this event “a great start to a wonderful season.” Noting that this was, perhaps, the coldest parade day she could remember, she added, “The parade went well and was so well attended.”

Christmas in the Village will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, with the grand opening of Santa’s workshop in the Hamburg Village Square. The night will also include trolley rides from the Peace Park to the village square and back, on a continuing route, until 8:30. The entire village will be decorated and carolers and fire pits will be set up along Main and Buffalo streets.

“We also are having a trumpet concert on the patio of Main Street Ice Cream,” reported Julie Maxwell. “There will also be volunteer students from Saints Peter & Paul, to hand out candy canes and other elf things.”

A castle will feature the 12 days of Christmas in the Peace Park. Each of the castle’s 12 windows will display a seasonal work of art created by a student from the Cloverbank Elementary school.

The lighting of the star will take place from the municipal parking lot at 7. Hamburg Village Mayor Thomas Moses will officiate. This year’s star will feature all-new LED light bulbs.

Special Christmas menus will be available in select local restaurants.

Other events will include:

Denim & Diamonds, the Hamburgh Holidays’ casual alternative to “The Snowball,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at J.P. Fitzgerald’s on Clark Street. The event will include an open bar, food, holiday music, dancing and more. Proceeds from the event will benefit the village of Hamburg holiday events program. For more information, contact Chris Gaughan at 289-7147.

– The nativity dedication will take place in Memorial Park at Union and Lake streets at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. The nativity scene was created in the early ‘50s. Julie Maxwell of GR Web said that her grandfather, Charles Maxwell, was instrumental in the creation of that crèche. She said that being involved in the Hamburgh Holidays is another way to “share the magic of the holidays by bringing the spirit of the holidays into the village.”

Breakfast with Santa will be held at the American Legion Post No. 527 on Memorial Drive from 8:30 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The Hamburg Kiwanis, with students from Saints Peter & Paul, will serve food and create winter crafts with young attendees. Santa Claus will visit and take photos with the kids. Mrs. Claus will host story time.

Advance tickets for the breakfast may be purchased through Dec. 13 at Main Street Ice Cream, located at 35 Main St., and the Hamburg Youth Center on Prospect Avenue. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Children younger than 3 may attend for free. According to Colleen Wheeler, this “is a cute event for kids and their families.”

Santa’s Workshop hours are 5 – 8 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 – 4 p.m. on Sundays. The workshop will also be open from 5 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19.

For more information about Hamburgh Holidays, visit

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