By TODD TRANUM
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
While others may simply endure the winter weather, Chautauqua County residents celebrate it! Skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing and horse drawn sleighs are all part of our active winter lifestyle here and this coming week is the annual festival that is our wintertime crowning achievement each year - the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville.
Put on by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, this festival has become known for providing one of the best weekends of family entertainment and activities in our region. Every year the festival features an ice castle medallion treasure hunt that stretches throughout the county. Other activities include ice sculptures, snowball throwing contests, a giant snow slide, a polar bear swim, horse drawn sleigh rides, snowmobile rides and much more. There are also food vendors, craft vendors, a chili cook-off, kids crafts and lots of entertainment. This year, because the weather has cooperated so well, the festival will be crowned by a beautiful ice castle at Lakeside Park - the perfect backdrop for fireworks on Saturday night.
We proudly applaud all of the volunteers and the sponsors who work so hard to make this festival a reality each year. Now in its 28th year, this event would not be possible without all of the hard work and support of many, many people. Our special thanks go to Debby Marsala, coordinator of the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber, and Ken Shearer, Community Chamber president. Their efforts in rallying the community behind this special event are exceptional. Our hats are also off to the volunteer ice castle construction crew under the supervision of Tom Przepiora.
Opening ceremonies are at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. On Saturday night there will be a bonfire at 6:30 p.m. and a fireworks display at 8 p.m. The festival continues through Sunday afternoon. We hope you will participate in some way this coming weekend. You will find that even in the cold weather, there is plenty of warmth to share with your Western New York neighbors during this exciting event!
Winter festival preview and Chamber networking Thursday
Chamber members can get a preview of the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival and learn more about this year's ice castle during our next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event on Thursday, Feb. 13 at Webb's Year Round Resort in Mayville.
Providing networking opportunities with other members is a key component of the Chamber's work. Our goal is to give each business ample opportunity to market itself in one-on-one sessions with other like-minded business people. Our focus with these events is also to provide Chamber members with a glimpse of the fascinating business and tourism occurrences right here in Chautauqua County.
The cost of the networking event is $10 for pre-registered Chamber members or $12 at the door. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org or by calling (716)366-6200 or (716)484-1101.
Salute to the Finest Feb. 24
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Salute to the Finest award celebration on Monday, Feb. 24 at Shawbucks Press Room, 212 W. Second St., Jamestown.
Receiving awards this year are: Manufacturer of the Year Artone, LLC; Retailer of the Year Everydays True Value; Community Service Award Terry Frank and Dennis Webster of Media One Group; Pride of Jamestown Award Chautauqua Striders; Business of the Year Jamestown Business College; Service to Humanity Award Chautauqua County Health Network; and New Business of the Year VIE for Fitness.
Registration opens at 5 p.m. with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment by Susan Waite and Tom Swanson of Red Letter Blues, and a cash bar. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 6 p.m.
Advance reservations are appreciated and this event is open to Chamber members or non-members. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at 484-1101.
Business Over Bagels: Build relationships using LinkedIn
Do you have questions about LinkedIn? Have you thought about joining LinkedIn, but you are not sure if it would be right for your business? Do you really need to be on social media? How can LinkedIn help you grow your business? Curt Anderson from the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College will offer information on how LinkedIn can help your business.
LinkedIn Strategies discussed will include: How to create a profile that works, making quality connections, finding leads on business prospects and jobs, starting or joining a LinkedIn group and creating a LinkedIn company page. Come join the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, SBDC and JCC for a morning of good food and interested marketing ideas for your business. Bring your tablet or smart phone along to enhance the experience.
Curt Anderson is a business advisor at NYS SBDC at JCC. He is an e-commerce and internet marketing consultant. He has been an entrepreneur for 23 years including 17 years in e-commerce. He is passionate about internet marketing and how it can help you reach out to new customers that you might not have reached through conventional marketing techniques.
This informative event will be held March 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the JCC North Training Center, Bennett Road, Dunkirk. The cost is $10. Call the JCC Center for Continuing Education to register at (716)363-6585.