Santa Claus is coming to Olean!
In the beginning, downtown Olean merchants collectively strung fresh pine together to form garlands across North Union Street, Olean’s downtown. It didn’t take them long to realize that lights were an intricate part of the decorating scheme, so they began to include strands of holiday light bulbs.
Santa Claus Lane has come to mean more than just a parade and the night that the lights are turned on. It has become six weeks of “celebration and song,’ throughout our community. Sophisticated animation is now included in Lincoln Park, in downtown Olean, and people from all of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania view the displays as they attend the numerous concerts and activities included in Santa Claus Lane.
Santa Claus Lane, and particularly the Parade, has become a tradition for the greater Olean area and western New York, northwestern Pennsylvania region. For many people, the parade has developed into a pilgrimage to the City of Olean on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Since it marks the beginning of the holiday season, Santa Claus Lane draws from as far as Rochester and Buffalo to the north, Jamestown and Erie, Pa., from the west, Allegany and Wyoming counties to the east and McKean and Potter counties to the south. The greater Olean area is a well-diversified community and as such, people from all walks of life and religion attend the parade to celebrate the gifts and graces of the holiday seasons. It is truly a night when community comes together.