#chocolate #GrandIslandNY #easter #christmas #fallfestival
All of that delightful personal service began back in 1962, when Walter and Grace Kelly had gigs selling penny candy at Western New York fairs and festivals. They became quite successful, with fairgoers asking them where their store was, so they could buy the penny candy during the off season for fairs. So, Walter and Grace Kelly obtained the land where the store now sits. They acquired an old barn and they moved it to that land on Grand Island Boulevard. Since then, the store has become a Grand Island tradition, and it is still owned by the Kelly family.
Not only is Kelly’s Country Store a place to buy delicious chocolates, it is also a destination for holiday celebrations and festivals. In the summer, the store offers weekly food truck events, which feature a variety of foods sold from food trucks. These include pizza and chicken wings, which are traditional Western New York favorites. And, of course, there’s ice cream, lemonade, and so much more.
In the autumn, Kelly’s Country Store hosts a fall festival, which features the visit of alpacas and a few ponies. For a small amount of money, kids can get a pony ride.
Anyone can pay a small amount of money and can then feed the alpacas.
There’s a small building on the grounds that was once a one-room schoolhouse. For the fall festival, it is open, and members of the Grand Island Historical Society give tours of the schoolhouse. At the end of the fall festival, a special guest arrives, a guest whose visit is brief until it’s almost time for…
Christmas! And then, Santa Claus takes up residence inside Kelly’s Country Store! Oh, I know what you’re asking. Why does Grand Island get to hog Santa’s free time? Um. No. Just not true. We share. Well, maybe a little. But I digress. Anyway, the display at Christmas time is quite spectacular. It is truly a Big Event.
There are vintage Christmas scenes and two entire rooms dedicated to Christmas. One of the rooms is illuminated only by Christmas lights.
That’s where Santa sits, waiting for kids to ask for Christmas presents. This past year, the process was modified for social distancing. It wasn’t as up close and personal as it usually is but the Christmas spirit was still there.
After Christmas, Santa has to go back to the North Pole to replenish the toy supply, and the store goes back to selling chocolates and other assorted gifts. The atmosphere becomes very romantic in February for Valentine’s Day.
After Valentine’s Day, there’s another decoration change. The two rooms that had been Christmas rooms are transformed into Easter rooms. Once again, the magic is created.
Enormous and small and chocolate rabbits are everywhere. They offer the promise of Easter eggs, chocolates, Easter joy, and spring.
Whenever you find yourself in Grand Island, go visit Kelly’s Store. It’s an adventure. Plus who knows what treats you will find.
Perhaps some delicious truffles will make you happy. Or perhaps some of Western New York’s favorite, sponge candy? What ever suits your fancy, you’ll undoubtedly find at Kelly’s Country Store.