NEWFANE – Santa will headline the parade in a horse-drawn wagon, and businesses will stay open later than usual to welcome holiday shoppers, as the Town of Newfane celebrates its Holiday Light-Up starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The parade will travel south on West Avenue, east on Ewings Road and north on Main Street, dropping Santa off for visits at the gazebo in front of Newfane Family Dentistry. Free cookies, hot chocolate and wagon rides will be offered at the gazebo, while kids activities will be under way at the Town Hall/Community Center, 2737 Main St.

A shuttle service to see the living Nativity at Grace Bible Church, 6023 Dutton Place, will be provided for those wishing to park behind Town Hall. Festivities also include the Candy Cane Lane Craft Show at United Methodist Church, 2699 Main St.

“It’s a very nice community event,” said Tammy Dodge, chairwoman of the festivities. “It’s an old-town Main Street event – a nice way for people to come out and be a part of the community. And it’s nice for the shops and other organizations, because it gives them more exposure.”

Most businesses will stay open until 8 p.m. to accommodate holiday shoppers.

Red House Music, at 2770 Main St., No. 2, owned by Eric Koch, offers new and used instruments for sale and rent, including acoustic and electric guitars to wind instruments, as well as amplifiers, microphones and instruction books for all levels. Koch also offers lessons on several instruments.

Red House moved to its new location from the other end of Main Street this past summer.

“We love it here,” he said. “I’ve built an isolation booth for lessons, so we don’t get too noisy for our neighbors. It’s a warm facility, very welcoming.”

Commenting on the business strip, Koch added, “I think we’ve got something going here. We work together very closely. We’re a close-knit community.”

Scotchies Ice Cream and Café, at 2728 Main St., opened this spring as an ice cream shop but enjoyed such success, it expanded into a café, offering coffee, cappuccino and latte, as well as baked goods from Three Sisters Bakery next door.

“It’s a homey, cozy little place – a place for the community to go, to stop in and get something quick,” said Molly Sheldon, who owns it with her husband, Chris. “As a new business, we’re taking it slowly but heading towards a full café menu.”

Shoppe on Main, at 2714 Main St., will feature two local children’s authors from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, as Ron Mazzarella signs copies of his book, “There’s a Whale in the Canal,” while Deidre Evans signs copies of her work, “Patty’s and Penni’s Trip to Paris.”

“It’s great to see Main Street almost full,” said Dodge.”It’s a prime location. This is an up-and-coming area, and it’s nice to see the growth and how receptive people are in supporting local businesses.”

The Newfane Holiday Light-Up is sponsored by the Newfane Business Association, First Niagara, Budwey’s, Newfane Lions Club and Town of Newfane. Anyone interested in participating in the parade may call Dodge at 778-8558.