Photos by Tom Rivers: Cobblestone The Girl Scouts in the Cobblestone Service Unit won the “Littlest Elf Award” for their float in the Nov. 24, 2018 parade.
MEDINA – In spite of the Covid pandemic, the village of Medina has found ways to celebrate their annual Christmas in Medina, scheduled on Saturday.
While the annual Christmas in Medina will have a different look this year, there will be a celebration on Saturday, which will conclude with the Parade of Lights in a reverse format.
Cindy Robinson and Kathy Blackburn are the annual chairs of the day-long event in Medina, which will begin with the Home for the Holidays 5K at 9 a.m. That event is sold out.
Residents are invited to join merchants for Shop Small Saturday, with specials being offered by many local small town merchants.
One local shopper is Karen Sawicz, owner of the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver, who prefers to shop as much as possible with small local merchants in Orleans County, because she believes they are the backbone of the county in providing jobs as well as goods and services.
Shopping local and supporting small town businesses is crucial to their existence, especially with the hardships caused by the pandemic.
Due to Covid restrictions, visits with Santa on Saturday will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue this year. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other, thereby adhering to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.
Santa and Mrs. Claus’ schedule for their appearances at the Santa House in Rotary Park throughout the holiday season will be posted on Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page and in store windows.
Here is map for the “reverse parade” on Saturday at the Medina school campus. The floats will be stationary and people will pass by them in vehicles. The entrance is on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive. Vehicles will exit on Maple Ridge Road near the high school.
The fourth annual Parade of Lights Toy Drive, led by Andrew Szatkowski, also had to adapt this year, and instead of collecting toys downtown, they are hosting a “Santa Hat Drive” at the start of the parade. Volunteer elves with Santa hats, much like a fireman’s boot drive, will be at the parade to collect spare change. All donations will go directly to local groups to help make a brighter Christmas for kids in Orleans County.
The Cutest Little Elf contest has gone virtual this year. Pictures can be submitted to Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page from this Saturday through Dec. 12. Winners will be based on how many “likes” a photo receives. Prizes will be provided by hometown businesses.
The Children’s Window Scavenger Hunt theme this year will be “The Night Before Christmas Mouse.” Entry forms are available online at christmasinmedina.com and at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, 527 Main St.
The Canal Village Farmers’ Market will take on a Christmas theme every Saturday until Christmas. The market is located at the corner of West Avenue and West Center Street.
The traditional children’s activities offered by downtown merchants will be available this year for two weeks – on Saturday through Dec. 12 (unless otherwise noted) during each business’s regular hours. This is to avoid large crowds which might violate Health Department recommendations.
Shoppers can enter to win an electric toy train by dropping off a non-perishable food item at the English Rose Tea Shoppe and receiving one raffle ticket for each item donated. Donations will be given to the Medina Food Pantry. Also at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, kids can pick up their special Santa Claus stationary to write their letter to Santa. Letters can be mailed in a special mail box in front of Rotary Park. The Tea Shoppe will also be handing out free samples of their most popular teas.
Alexandra Peracciny Photography on the second floor at 519 Main St. will be offering a holiday photo card/frame kit. Also, a complimentary photo booth will be set up in the studio from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.
At Case-Nic Cookies at 439 Main St, kits to “Frost Your Own Cookie” will be sold for $1, with the proceeds going to the Medina Food Pantry.
Creekside Floral at 509 Main St. will offer a surprise “take and make” craft to complete at home.
Children can pick up a picture at Blissetts, 449 Main St., for a coloring contest. Pictures should be returned to blissetts by Dec. 12 to be entered to win a prize.
At the Book Shoppe, 519 Main St., there will be a take and make snowman bookmark craft.
Upscale Overstock at 339 North Main St. will offer a different take home kids’ craft each week.
Also at 339 North Main St., Mandeo’s Candy Shoppe will have cups of hot chocolate (with surprise ingredients, such as a peppermint stick or chocolate spoon) to make at home. Cost is $3 and proceeds will be donated to Anchoring Hope of New York and Buffalo Sabres Warriors Sled Hockey Program.
The Downtown Browsery at 413 Main St. will offer a take and make Santa ornament and a letter to Santa on which children can put their wish list. It can be returned to the Browsery and put in the Letters to Santa mailbox. The Browsery is also one of the locations for the MAAC collection barrels, and shoppers are encouraged to drop off a new toy to help make Christmas special for those less fortunate.
Since Canalside Tattoo can’t host the toy drive this year, they got together with Erin Townsend Photography to make 2021 calendars which they will sell for $30.
A variety of take and make crafts will also be available at Lyric & Lizzy Boutique, 335 North Main St.
Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way to the Medina Theatre after a parade through the downtown last year on Nov.30 when they rode in an old Medina fire truck. This year they will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other to adhere to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.
Anyone who brings a small baby item to Herbalty Collage will receive a “Stress-Free Holiday Bath Soak.” Baby items will be donated to Care Net of Greater Orleans.
Shoppers can drop off a gift for children and/or teenagers in the MAAC barrel at Ashlee’s Place, 116 East Center St.
As is the tradition, the day will be topped off with the spectacular Parade of Lights, which definitely has a different look this year. There will not be the traditional fireworks, but Instead of the parade passing by the spectators, the parade will be stationary and the spectators will drive by it. This is to eliminate the big crowds which usually gather on Main Street.
This year, cars will enter the parade route on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive near Genesee Street. Genesee Street will be closed to traffic. Cars are to proceed to the parade entrance and follow the route through the school campus, exiting at the high school on Maple Ridge Road. The parade will start promptly at 5 p.m., immediately after a ribbon cutting near Vets Park with parade marshals Dave and Trudy Schwert. Parade floats will be on display until 8 p.m., according to parade chairman Jim Hancock.