By Kellen M. Quigley

Welcome to another year of Ellicottville’s Summer Music Festival weekend!

This weekend is not only about music, but about bringing people together during the weekend America celebrates its independence.

For some, this weekend is an annual tradition, while this may be a brand new experience for others, but everyone will have the opportunity to make memories in Ellicottville and enjoy some great music.

New this year, the Kick-Off Party Friday night is being held on Monroe Street in the form of Bags & Brews. This is a cornhole tournament fundraiser was created by the Rental Management & Real Estate team over at ERA Team VP. Listen to some live music by XPrime from 3:30 to 8 p.m. and support the cause with wine tastings, 50/50 raffles and more!

Also Friday is the first day of Stroll the Streets of Ellicottville, featuring free music and events throughout the village. Performing will be Jay McDonnell. Face painting, balloon twisting and a stilt walker will be around the village for families to visit.

Stop down in the village on Saturday, July 6, for the annual Pet Parade at 11 a.m. on Washington Street. Making their way to the Village Gazebo, every pet is a winner and everyone gets a prize. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday the Arts and Crafts show will feature fabulous local vendors along Jefferson Street.

Then on Saturday night, get ready to rock with Don Felder, renowned as a former lead guitarist of the Eagles, one of the most popular and influential rock groups of all time.

The band’s record-setting compilation “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)” sold over 29 million copies in the U.S. alone and was awarded by the RIAA the top-selling album of the 20th Century. Currently Don and the Eagles have sold more than 83.5 million albums.

As a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1998, Felder served as a member of Eagles for 27 years, putting his mark on many of the band’s milestone songs. Felder originated the music and co-wrote Eagles’ biggest hit, the iconic, Grammy-studded smash “Hotel California,” along with fan favorites like “Victim of Love” and “Those Shoes.”

Felder became immediately celebrated for his lyrical, signature guitar work on legendary songs like “One of These Nights,” “New Kid In Town” and numerous more. “Hotel California” was recently voted the Number 1 best 12 string guitar song in the world by Guitar World magazine.

Felder is a four-time Grammy award winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, New York Times best selling author, amazing guitarist and a captivating performer.

Felder has also worked with many other musical acts over the years, including Peter Frampton, Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Warren Zevon, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and even an old friend, Steven Stills.

But before Fedler graces the stage at Holiday Valley at 9 p.m., Caitlin Koch will open the show at 7. Caitlin has graced the Summer Fest stage a number of times, and organizers are so excited to have her back.

Originally from Orchard Park, Caitlin started singing in church with her father and embraced music of all genres. In 2004 at age 14, Caitlin won singing contest “Buffalo Idol” (by Kiss 98.5 FM) and was the opening act for Gavin DeGraw & Avril LaVigne at The Key Bank Center of Buffalo.

Over the years, Caitlin has shared stages with the likes of Pat Benatar, Goo Goo Dolls, Gavin DeGraw, The B52’s, Blood Sweat & Tears, Avril Lavigne and Paula Abdul.

In 2015, Caitlin relocated to Nashville, Tenn., in pursuit of music as an independent artist. As a Nashville native, caitlin began acting in commercials and on the hit series show “Nashville.”

Finally, on Sunday, July 7, the Buffalo Philharmonic will be back for its 26th engagement at the Summer Music Fest.

An exciting list of musical greatness is in the works for the evening. The show, ‘Beach Vibes,’ will feature songs from the Beach Boys, Miami Sound Machine and more, concluding with everyone’s favorites, “1812 Overture” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” played to an incredible fireworks display.

This is an all age’s event, so pack up your picnic basket and bring the whole family. As always, 12 and under are free to both concerts. Gates will open at 6 p.m. each night.

Come celebrate summer with a weekend of non-stop fun and entertainment, Ellicottville-style!