Jingle Falls USA: New Niagara Falls Tradition
Guestview by Seth Piccirillo
Jingle Falls USA kicks off on Saturday, December 2, 2017, with a 5 pm candlelight stroll from Niagara Falls City Hall to the tree lighting at Seneca Square. The fun continues of December 9 and 16. Our entire community is welcomed to come together to celebrate this festive time of year at three Saturdays full of activities. The complete schedule is available at JingleFallsUSA.com. There will be fireworks on all three dates, as well as free parking.
Many organizations came to plan events, determined to be part of a grassroots effort. Niagara PAL moved its Fall 5k race to December 9, partnering with the Sheraton Hotel. Old Falls Street created a plan to link unique events together. Destination Niagara Falls USA stepped up with marketing resources and expertise. The City Clerk’s Office found ways for the city to be an important stakeholder. Business owners created events and offers designed to welcome visitors to shop locally. The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute has daily features for families. The list goes on and on. In planning Jingle Falls USA, we were reminded that partnerships are the best way to get any and everything done.
On December 2 alone, there will be the candle light stroll, the tree lighting, fireworks, a holiday market at the Niagara Falls Conference Center, food trucks on Old Falls Street, free horse and carriage rides, an outdoor viewing of the movie Elf, the Culinary Institute’s life size Gingerbread House and much more. On December 9, there will be a Makers Market at 449 Third Street hosted by LiveNF as well as Power City Eatery’s second annual Deck the Falls event. On December 16, Niagara Falls Community Development will host a downtown street hockey tournament, with profits donated to the Niagara Falls Fire Fighter Toy Fund. There are many other free events that will run on all three Saturdays. The goal is to make Jingle Falls USA about more than decorations. We want to give both visitors and locals a reason to spend more time in our city.
Jingle Falls USA does not replace or prevent any former events from happening or get caught up in the past. This is a new Niagara Falls tradition highlighting family friendly gatherings designed for everyone. Of course, the strength of individual events and attendance will be the most important factors for Jingle Falls and its future. However, the creation of new offerings for and by our community, is equally important. We all know that more events are needed in Niagara Falls. The creation of Jingle Falls USA is a direct response to that need, as expressed by our residents. Nostalgia, criticism, or the combination of both, does not get us closer to that goal. If we want more, and new, activities in Niagara Falls, we need stakeholders to keep partnering and we need the community to check out events and give suggestions and new ideas.
New traditions start the moment people get together. We look forward to seeing you all on December 2, 9, and 16. Happy Holidays.
Seth Piccirillo is the Director of Niagara Falls Community Development and a proud resident of the City of Niagara Falls.