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By Alicia Dziak

It’s here! Ellicottville’s Fall Festival takes over this weekend and you won’t want to miss the fun in the village and on the slopes.  This weekend, Oct. 6-7, EVL’s biggest and oldest festival of the year is back, complete with music, races, rides, food, arts and crafts and endless fall fun.

Started in 1975 as a way to bring people into the budding ski town of Ellicottville as the winter merchandise arrived in stores, Fall Festival has evolved into one that brings in countless people for many different reasons, and this year’s festival promises to carry on the tradition of non-stop entertainment.

Head to Washington Square and let the kids get their thrills on the carnival rides from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Grab a bite at the Jefferson Street food court, or stop in one of the local restaurants who will be serving up their signature dishes.

Get a jump on holiday shopping at the arts and crafts fair lining the Village streets. Find everything from unique gifts to food items and more at dozens of vendors offering their wares. This year, there has been an increased emphasis on quality in terms of merchandise and food vendor products and each vendor must have a physical product to sell. 

It won’t be long before the snow flies and Fall Fest the perfect time to gear up for the upcoming ski season. The annual tent sale takes place at Washington and Jefferson Streets, and EVL’s finest ski and gear shops will be selling everything you need at discounted prices. Holiday Valley’s Mountain Shop Tent Sale will also be going on both days.

If you’re looking to trade in or trade up your gear, head to Holiday Valley’s Ski Swap, with check ins and picks ups scheduled Thursday through Saturday. Check out the schedule for more info.

Holiday Valley will also be featuring their Rail Jam on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at the base of Mardi Gras so everyone in line can watch. What’s it all about? It’s a ramp with an artificial snow carpet leading to a rail so skiers and snowboarders can get some pre-winter riding and offer up their best tricks on the rail!

Holiday Valley will also be offering $8 chairlift rides on both the Spruce and Mardi Gras chairs (free for Classic Season Pass holders!). Ride to the top and enjoy live music at the top of Mardi Gras and a Birds of Prey show at Spruce Lake at 2 p.m. each day.

Two races are planned for those looking to burn off some energy and calories. On Saturday, Oct. 6, the annual Fall Festival 5K Run kicks off at 9:30 a.m. from Holiday Valley, when runners take to the local streets on this fun, challenging and climbing finish course. A fun post-race party takes place at the Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center with light lunch, beverages and great door prizes.

The following day, on Oct. 7, the Fall Festival Mountain Bike race takes over the mountain at Holiday Valley. Bikers will navigate the 4.7-mile course with challenging climbs and downhills, combined with amazing single-track sections. Compete for the door-prize pool and awards ceremony, which recognizes the top three finishers in several age groups and classes. The races start at 10 a.m. 

If it’s live music you’re after, take your pick all weekend long and venues indoors and out! Check out the schedule on page 3 for the lineup.

Fall Festival is a time to reconnect with family and friends and rediscover Ellicottville. Whether you’re here to get ready for ski season, shop, dance or just take in the sights and sounds, enjoy every minute and come back soon!