By Caitlin Croft

The Summer Music Festival is definitely the highlight event of the summer in Ellicottville, New York.

This year, former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, Caitlin Koch and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will grace the stage over the two-night event.

In a new twist, the Kick-Off Party is being held on Monroe Street in the form of Bags & Brews.

This is a cornhole tournament meets charity fundraiser created by the Rental Management & Real Estate team over at ERA Team VP. Here are the hard facts.

WHEN: Friday, July 5 from 3-8 p.m.

WHERE: Monroe Street in front of the Ellicottville Winery and Villaggio.

WHO: You and your best friend crushing the competition in the first ever Bags & Brews cornhole tournament.

WHY: To benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

“In a staff meeting, we were brainstorming a charity and felt Roswell Park would be the best seeing as we have had employees past and present who have been so deeply affected by this disease. It really made perfect sense,” said Rachael Wiley-Steffan of ERA. “We also are opening up a battle of the businesses. We want local establishments to enter teams to battle for bragging rights.”

There will, of course, be live music — how can it be the Summerfest kick off without live music? The band will be rockin’ the whole time under the brand new winery patio.

There will be tastings from all four of Ellicottville’s libation producers, Ellicottville Brewing Company, The Winery of Ellicottville, Ellicottville Distillery and Steelbound Brewery & Distillery. “In addition to the event it is also the kick off to Stroll the Streets, a newer well-received event that runs Friday evenings in the summer,” Kaysie Griffith said. “There will be so many great activities for all ages that will compliment the Kick-Off Party.”

Even if cornhole isn’t your thing, there will be plenty of good company, raffle tickets, 50/50 raffle

and more to garner your attention. The Grand Prize is a “stay for two” in one of ERA’s Vacation

Rentals for two, two tours of EBC, gift cards to local eateries and more!

Also, I have a good feeling the tournament will be a supreme spectator sport. If cornhole champion is something you see in your future, be sure to contact Kaysie Griffith at 699-4800 or by June 28. Entry is $30 per team, and remember: it is all for charity.

We all know someone who has either succumbed to this awful disease or battled victoriously, so

this is a charity that hits home for everyone.

Get your tastebuds ready and that cornhole arm on point cause Bags & Brews will be an event you don’t want to miss!