By Alicia Dziak
August is a month full of summertime activities, special events and long days of fun. Whether you like an action-packed day of outdoor adventure, a relaxing evening of live music and tasty desserts or a competitive day on the golf course, Ellicottville has got you covered this August!
Get a ‘Taste
Every month in Ellicottville brings fabulous events to town and this month it’s all about the food. Aug. 11 and 12 is the annual Taste of Ellicottville, where everyone can sample the best that Ellicottville’s fine restaurants have to offer as they set up “cafe style” on the streets. Purchase food tickets and exchange them for tasty treats as your stroll the village streets, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit ellicottvilleny.com for more info.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, celebrate a day of creativity at the sixth annual Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival from 2 to 7 p.m.
Headlining the festival is the Americana/folk band, Driftwood from Binghamton. Their live performances are making them regional favorites in Western New York and beyond. Driftwood has been described as “a band with a rock ‘n’ roll soul and a folk art mind.”
Additional performers are: The Probables (roots rock from former Big Leg Emma members), Sly Boots Circus (African drum and dance group), Kaleidoscope Sky (reggae and rock) and poet Autumn Echo.
Music isn’t all that will be featured at this annual festival. Ten local vendors will be selling their creations and there will be a screen printing activity and three food trucks featuring crepes to barbecue.
The festival is a fundraiser for the park to raise money for a restroom building at the park. Admission will be $20 advance, $25 day of show for adults, and those 12 and under get in free. Gates open at noon. Tickets can be purchased online by searching for the event at eventbrite.com.
‘Shake It Up’
at the Gazebo
On Aug. 10 at 8 p.m., don’t miss Shake on the Lake presented by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce as part of this season’s Gazebo Series.
This year, the touring group will perform William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” on the village gazebo lawn.
Dubbed Shakespeare in the Square, the troupe performed “Romeo and Juliet” last summer at the inaugural event and it was a smash hit. The audience loved the mingling of a little contemporary with the traditional, the creativity of the sets and the entertaining performances of the cast. The mood ranged from somber to laughter and it’s expected that Richard III will be equally entertaining. See the story below for more information this awesome event!
Under a Tuscan Moon
On Saturday, Aug. 25, head to Holiday Valley’s Cabana Bar for the Under a Tuscan Moon Gourmet Cocktail Party at 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ellicottville, this fundraiser features a delicious assortment of food, live music and auctions.
When you arrive, you are greeted with great hors d’ oeuvres from Katy’s, John Harvard’s and other great restaurants served by student volunteers from Ellicottville Central School. Additionally this year, students from University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Hospitality Program will be helping in the kitchen and at the food stations.
Get ready for this year’s musical treat, as guests will be entertained by Party Squad Strictly Acoustic. Yes indeed — Ellicottville’s favorite & BMHOF band, Party Squad “Unplugged.” This performance promises to be a unique experience as the trio will play favorites by request before, during and after dinner. Dave Elder explains that they have done this acoustic show exclusively at some private parties. Elder and Joe Rozler play acoustic guitar with a little accordion, while drummer and vocalist Mark Dixon plays a cajon drum. Unplugged and mobile, they will be able to come to guests’ table for special requests, adding to this memorable for the evening.
This event includes an expansive array of entrees provided by the best restaurants in the area. Supported by both Sysco and US Foods, the local chefs will try to impress guests with their signature dish served at their individual stations. This year’s Italian theme menu is way over the top with many culinary surprises to treat those who attend. A great Antipasto table, a seafood medley from John Harvard’s and seafood lasagna from Myer’s, as well as The Silver Fox’s Tuscan pork, are just a few of the 15 stations guests will enjoy. Attendees can eat as much as they like but should save room for the dessert table, where Watson’s Chocolates surround the extra special cakes, cookies and tarts created by chef Tom Kneeland.
Everyone loves the extensive silent auction, as there is always a great bargain to be had, and the live auction usually features Sabres tickets, Bills tickets and Cutco knives, as well as many more great bargains.
Beyond the food and the company, this annual fundraiser supports the many worthwhile local projects and individuals in need supported through Family Support for Ellicottville. Better yet — while you are helping a great cause, your ticket donation is tax deductible. So plan for this great end of the summer party and put Saturday, Aug. 25 on your calendar.
Remember that this is Ellicottville, so the dress is always casual.
Tickets are $65 per person and are available at ellicottvillerotary.com, EVL Spirits and Katy’s, or order by phone by calling 699-8758.
Sky High Adventure Park
Open daily throughout the summer, head to Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park.
Sky High is made up of three components: the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster.
The Aerial Park, the largest of its kind in New York state and third largest in the U.S., combines a series of platforms and bridges built in a four-acre section of the woods near the resort’s Tannenbaum Lodge. The Aerial Park includes 142 platforms, 170 elements and 43 ziplines, with the tallest platform at 68 feet and the longest zip line measuring 350 feet. For rates and to make reservations, visit holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high-adventure-park/.
Those ages five and up can enjoy the Climbing Forest, which is like a 3D version of a rock wall, and only one of three in the country. There are 10 trees outfitted with color-coded climbing holds and the difficulty ranges from very easy (yellow) to very challenging (purple). Each climber is fitted with a harness that is clipped into an Auto Belay system. Once a climber reaches the top of the tree at up to 45 feet, they just let go and the belay system slowly lowers them to the ground.
There is also a kids’ area with two trees where the youngest climbers can climb about six feet up and climb back down.
For rate info, visit holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high-adventure-park/climbing- forest/.
The Mountain Coaster takes riders up the hill in their own car and lets them control their own speed on the way back down.
Or cool off this summer at Holiday Valley’s three-pool complex, open daily through Labor Day. Splash into a kiddie pool, a lap pool and an activity pool, featuring a diving board and slide, play a variety of poolside games, like giant Jenga or Cornhole, or grab a frozen drink from the Cabana Bar.
Enjoy a summer weekend on the lake by hiking up to Holiday Valley’s Spruce Lake on summer weekends (weather permitting, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and enjoy standup paddleboarding, kayaking, SUP Yoga/Fitness or fly fishing with Adventure Bound on the Fly. Rent the equipment right there and plan for a fun day on the water. For more info, visit holidayvalley.com.
Golf at Holiday Valley
Get your golf on at Holiday Valley’s course. The 18-hole par 70 Double Black Diamond golf course is challenging and well maintained with breathtaking scenery from every hole.
Summer will be gone before you know it, so make sure to pack in as much as possible before the days get shorter and cooler!