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JAMESTOWN – There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Jamestown’s annual Christmas Parade as the city’s Mayor announced Friday that there are several groups interested in hosting the event.
This month, doubt was cast over whether or not the holiday celebration would take place during a community input meeting held by the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce.
Since then, Chamber President and CEO Dan Heitzenrater has worked with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist to find another host for the longtime tradition.
“We have sort of had internal conversations and reached out to our downtown Jamestown members to ask for that feedback,” says Heitzenrater. “What the impact in past years has been on their businesses, and so far not much is coming back, but the responses that we have gotten indicate that certainly the parade is a great community event and draws people downtown.”
Supporting local businesses, and actually getting customers through the door, is the mission of the Chamber, and that’s why they plan not to take on the endeavor. However, it doesn’t mean the Chamber of Commerce won’t assist the next wouldbe host.
“I really think it extends beyond what anyone who hasn’t done something like that can comprehend, myself included. Like I said I’ve been told anywhere between four and nine months in a year, with the person who used to work for Jamestown Renaissance Corporation doing events was focused a lot on the parade right,” explained Heitzenrater. “All the coordination on the participants, and the volunteers, the permitting and things that are gonna be near, obviously with the city, for safety to close streets down. So I think it encompasses a lot more than we think.”
The parade was previously organized by Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. A “reverse parade” was held last year in partnership with the Chamber and the City.
On Friday Mayor Eddie Sundquist made it apparent that the parade will likely return in some kind of form this year. Sundquist said he has heard from many businesses and individuals that would like to support the parade.
He is now working to bring the right people together and hopes to have an update sometime in November.
Those who would like to help directly with the parade, or even help plan it, can contact either Dan Heitzenrater at (716) 484-1101 or Mayor Eddie Sundquist at (716) 483-7600.
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