fallfestwby Eva Potter

Ellicottville’s oldest, most popular weekend— Fall Fest — is only two weeks away and the village is gearing up for the best festival ever.

On Oct. 12–13, tens of thousands of festivalgoers will converge on our quaint little town ready to enjoy themselves for the weekend (responsibly, of course).

In the village, it’s a jam-packed weekend of great entertainment and dancing, ski bargains, fabulous food, friends getting reacquainted, kids enjoying carnival rides, loads of arts and crafts vendors, and a range of other fall fun. Be sure to check out the Ellicottville –Great Valley Trail tent and check out the master plan. Be sure to visit the local shops and restaurants — even a few new ones you’ll love. You may not know this, but the Fall Festival vendors each make a donation to local charities or civic groups!

Holiday Valley events include the annual Ski Swap in Creekside Lodge, the Mountain Shop Tent Sale, Chairlift rides from noon–4 p.m. and a “Gotta Be There” party at the top of Mardi Gras including music, food and drinks, not to mention beautiful scenery! Tommy Z is set to play on Saturday at the top and the Strangers are scheduled to entertain you at the Cabana Bar at the base of the mountain. On Sunday, listen to 10 Delaware at the top of Mardis Gras lift and with Bleeding Hearts playing at the Cabana Bar.

Don’t forget to check out the new features at Sky High Adventure Park. The Aerial Park has two new courses for outdoor adventurers. There’s also a new Climbing Forest, a 3-D version of a climbing wall on trees. It’s the only one of its kind in the Northeast and features 10 trees outfitted with color-coded climbing holds for a variety of difficulty levels reaching heights up to about 45 feet. And let’s not forget the Mountain Coaster that sends you zigzagging down the side of the mountain on a thrilling 2,490-foot descent.

HoliMont will be running the Exhibition Express on Saturday 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. for anyone who wants to come and take a ride to the top of HoliMont to check out Mother Nature’s brightly painted hillside. Slopeside Ski Shop will be open on Saturday and Sunday with some great deals on gear.

For those looking for a little active competition, you can sign up for the 5K run or Mile Walk on Sept. 12 starting at 10 a.m. at Holiday Valley. Or gear up for the Fall Fest Mountain Bike Race on Sept. 13 also at Holiday Valley. Go to www.heartrateup.com for details about the run and mountain bike race.

If you have the children in tow, then make the short trip to Pumpkinville in Great Valley. The 200-acre farm is the oldest continuously working pumpkin farm in New York State and is loaded with kid-friendly activities including Pumpkin Jumpin Pillows, Hayrides, Singing Chickens, Corn Cannon, Goat Mountain, Cow Train, Gem Mining, Storyland, Corn Maze, as well as helicopter rides, live entertainment and the most delicious pumpkin treats.

Fall Festival Weekend is sure to be a great time! For many, there is nowhere else better to be this time of year.