Niagara Gazette — The trees along Old Falls Street will once again have that holiday glow as Christmas festivities are set to begin this week.
On Tuesday, the Old Falls Street outdoor tree-lighting event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The fun kicks off with the arrival of Santa Claus on a Niagara Falls city fire engine. St. Nick will then officially illuminate Old Falls Street.
After the brief outdoor ceremony, attendees can head inside Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls to enjoy live music by the Celtic Circle Ceilidh Band, a visit from Old Falls Street’s mascot Walter Falls, children’s face painting, a balloon artist and complementary donuts, hot chocolate and coffee.
Those in attendance will also be able to tour the conference center’s new photography exhibit, “Snapshots: Roaming the Niagara Frontier,” by Niagara Gazette photojournalist James Neiss. Various vendors will also be on hand for those who are looking to purchase unique holiday gift items.
Non-perishable food items will also be collected that evening to be donated toward the fourth annual Stuff-a-Bus Food Drive, being held on Friday.
“This year’s additional programming held inside The Conference & Event Center will allow our guests a place to mingle and spread holiday cheer,” said Global Spectrum’s Ryan Coate, general manager of Old Falls Street, USA and The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. “Afterward, we encourage our guests to visit the giant student-made gingerbread house inside the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and other neighboring restaurants for dinner that evening.”
Old Falls Street’s outdoor tree décor was designed by Harris & Lever Florists, with special electrician assistance by the City of Niagara Falls and the Local IATSE 121 Stage Union.
Also coming up this week on Old Falls Street:
Stuff-A-Bus Food Drive
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday an NFTA Bus will be parked on Old Falls Street outside the entrance of The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. The event is held in cooperation with the NFTA’s Holly Trolley, also on Friday.
In the spirit of the holiday season, donations of nonperishable food items are being asked for to benefit the Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier. The items will be driven to the Community Mission that afternoon, just prior to the Holly Trolley’s annual tour of Niagara Falls.
Breakfast with Santa
The fourth annual Breakfast with Santa event on Old Falls Street is being held 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday in the conference center.
Attendees will enjoy a deluxe buffet and a personal visit from Santa Claus. The morning includes Santa’s reading of “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” arts and crafts, holiday cookie decorating, traditional children’s holiday movies, a bounce house, cotton candy machine, photo booth, balloon and caricature artists, a visit and much more.
Everyone is urged to bring a donation of new winter hats, gloves, scarves and socks for the Giving Tree benefitting area children in need for a chance to win a festive holiday gift basket.
Tickets are available now or at the door — $12 for adults, $9 for children 12 and under, and $10 for seniors 65 and over. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 278-2100 for more information.