ABOUT HAMBURGH HOLIDAYS
Hamburgh Holidays is both a series of holidays-themed events and the name of the all-volunteer community organization that oversees their events, beginning with the much anticipated Santa Claus Parade on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and culminating with the Lighting of the Way on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The Hamburgh Holidays organization is loosely structured like a board of directors, with coordinators for each of their events. The “board” is led by a general chair or co-chairs, usually for a two-year term, though some chairs have served for much longer.
Hamburgh Holidays was begun by a group of people coming together over drinks at the Hamburg Hotel in the early 1960s, and it has steadily evolved over the years.
“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,” according to the late June Pearl, a longtime chair. “Every Hamburgh Holidays volunteer leaves seeds, some more than others,” she once said.
HH is supported by donations, fund-raising events, and the commitment of local merchants and residents.
The largest annual parade in Hamburg, the Hamburgh Holidays Santa Claus Parade is popular with children’s and adult community groups, and features marching bands, many scout troops, animals, holiday-themed floats, and fire trucks. It generally has close to 70 contingents, and attracts large crowds of spectators along the major routes of Main and Buffalo streets. The parade concludes with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their sleigh, following behind Santa’s Workshop, which is then placed in the Hamburg Village Square Plaza for the month of December.
The parade begins at the Union Pleasant Elementary School parking lot, proceeds up Center Street, turns east onto Main Street, then turns north onto Buffalo Street, concluding in the Village Square Plaza, where a post parade reception takes place with hot chocolate and cookies.
The Hamburgh Holidays Committee, supported by the Village Department of Public Works, and Village Recreation Department, dresses the village streets in beautiful holiday lights and magnificent decorations, much like scenes from Courier and Ives. The Hamburg Village Board is also a great support to HH.
Additional HH activities and events include Christmas in the Village, where the star is lit, the Winter Castle is officially dedicated, and Santa’s Workshop has its Grand Opening, all on the same evening. HH also sponsors the Dedication of the Nativity in Memorial Park, Breakfast with Santa, Storytelling Hour at the Hamburg Library, a free children’s Holiday movie at the Hamburg Palace Theatre, Lighting of The Way, and Rock the Roundabout.
Hamburgh Holidays sponsors an annual fund raiser to help support all of their activities and events, and to maintain all the beautiful Holiday decorations in the Village.