JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – As the end of the year gets closer, preparations to celebrate the holidays are already underway in Jamestown.
Patrick Smeraldo, owner of Collaborative Children’s Solution’s, was a part of the team that brought the parade back last year following the pandemic. He’s leading the charge to host this year’s festivities once again.
“Two years ago during the pandemic when we had the drive through parade, the mayor and I joked about it. I didn’t know if that was the right move at the time. And after that night of standing at City Hall, seeing miles and miles of cars drive by and to see kids so excited about seeing Santa Claus and give them hope after coming out of the pandemic that cinched it for me,” says Smeraldo.
The parade will be held on Saturday, December 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will conclude with a fireworks show, following the same format from last year. Toy donation boxes will be located at several points throughout the parade as well.
“People just loved it. It brought people downtown. It was Saturday, people didn’t have to work, parents who have kids liked it more,” explains Smeraldo.
There will also be a Toys for Tots Holiday Shopping Extravaganza earlier that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northwest Arena. Last year, 4,400 children in Chautauqua County received a toy through this program.
“Come to our downtown and celebrate. There’s hockey tournaments, go watch some hockey for a little bit, it’s free,” says Smeraldo. “Go shop for some crafts, it’s free. Go have dinner somewhere at one of the great local downtown restaurants. And then come to the parade, literally it’s free entertainment.”
This year’s theme is “Season of Joy,” as a way to showcase how you express your own personal joy during the holiday season.
“It’s important to me, we’re a diverse community, that’s what we went with last year. It’s important to me that when I do these projects I offer what Jamestown is about and what the people of Jamestown are about,” says Smeraldo.
Registration for the parade is open to all, with a $20 entry fee, and runs through the end of November.