A Wellsville tradition older than most residents is gearing up for its 2018 iteration.

“It brings the community together, especially during the cold weather season when you are normally not out and about,” said Nicole Vlcek, Wellsville Chamber of Commerce president.

The 91-year-old annual Holidays in Wellsville celebration is slated to begin tomorrow at 7 p.m. with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Wellsville City Hall. See below for a complete schedule of events.

According to Vlcek, Holidays in Wellsville committee member, the most recent addition to the weekend’s festivities — “Breakfast with Santa” — has been a big hit.

“It is been pretty successful,” she said. “We do it at dinner time, and breakfast for dinner is pretty popular. We make it nice, it’s a quick easy meal, and we keep it casual — some of the kids will come in pajama pants, and we have a relaxed time is Santa. There’s no rushing, and Santa is available the whole time. So you can eat when you want to, jump in line and take pictures when you want to. It’s a casual environment, and dinner is by donation.”

Other niche weekend events have also experienced marked growth.

“The craft show has been growing, which is been exciting — we’ve nearly tripled our vendors in the last three years,” Vlcek said. There’s a lot of shopping opportunities, especially for a lot of hand made, local items.”

Centered subhead: A giving history

One of the weekend’s staple events, the Annual Christmas Drawing, was originally started to help families in need.

“The local grocery store at the time would take nominations for families who might have not been able to afford a Christmas dinner, some names were drawn, and the store wood provided the dinners,” Vlcek said. “Today, there are still some turkeys and similar items given, but a lot of times it’s smaller gifts all the way up to bicycles, which local businesses and families have donated.

“Everyone in attendance grab the ticket, and the Boy Scouts and firefighters work through the numbers together until everything that is been donated has been giving out.”

Vlcek said the secret to the event’s long-term success has been it’s variety.

“There’s a little something for everyone,” she said. “If it’s too cold for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting, there is still the opportunity to hang with Santa Claus at the breakfast in a warmer environment. There’s also the opportunity to see some of the more decorated homes in Wellsville.

“It’s important because it draws people together.”

Email questions to holidaysinwellsville@gmail.com or see Facebook page “Holidays in Wellsville.”

Weekend schedule

Friday

6 p.m. — Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (Wellsville City Hall)
7 p.m. — Business, Home Decorations and Light Displays judging

Saturday

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Holidays in Wellsville Craft Show (Wellsville HS)
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Pictures with Santa (Wellsville HS Commons Area)
5 p.m. — Wellsville HS Wrestling Team Walking Tacos (Wellsville HS Red Gym lobby)
6 p.m. — Doors open for Annual Christmas Drawing

Dec. 8

5 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Holiday Home Tour

Dec. 9

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Breakfast with Santa (Milestone Events)