Fall and Holiday Events to Fill Your Calendar

By Jann Wiswall

Halloween — and the end of a fabulous October — marks the start of a new slate of activities in Ellicottville that will keep you entertained all the way through Thanksgiving.

October 31-November 2

Halloween trick-or-treating in the village of Ellicottville officially runs from 5:30–8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31. When you combine that with the Rotary Community Halloween Party from 6-8 p.m. on the same evening, you’ll have the happiest little ghosts and goblins around!

Another fun Halloween option for kids is the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church “Trunk or Treat” event on Friday, Oct. 31, when they can trick or treat at the Halloween-decorated cars in the parking lot at 6360 Route 242 in Ellicottville. The event runs from 5–7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Pumpkinville’s last day of festivities for the season takes place on Halloween from 9 a.m.–7 p.m., so be sure to head over for your last opportunity to enjoy the rides, games, eats and treats at the oldest, continuously operated pumpkin farm in the United States. Visit www.pumpkinville.com.

And, in nearby Franklinville, you can enjoy an old-fashioned Haunted Hay Ride through the grounds of the Woods at Bear Creek — the area’s newest “glamping resort.” Tickets are $2. Visit www.thewoodsatbearcreek.com.

All weekend long, you can enjoy more Halloween thrills when you “jump on the scariest hayride in Western New York” (through Nov. 2). Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street 2014 features haunted barns with a vortex tunnel and gothic chamber, a haunted maze and the ever-popular haunted hayride. Admission is $17; children 5 and under are free. Group rates are available. Visit www.nightmarehayride.com.

The EVL Halloween Half Marathon is a fun-filled, Halloween-themed event on Saturday, Nov. 1, that features a half marathon, a 5K and a kid’s race. Participants are invited to run in costume (or not) and enjoy other Halloween-related activities. Age group and costume prizes will be awarded! The event begins at 11 a.m. on Monroe Street in the village. Register at www.evlhalf.com.

Want to get a jump on your holiday shopping? East Otto Country Associates 2014 Holiday Open House will be held Nov. 1-2, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. East Otto Country Associates has been offering quality handmade and homegrown treasures to the public for more than two decades. Thousands of customers have found adventures along the scenic back roads of rural Cattaraugus County through the years, traveling from one East Otto Country artist location to the next. Take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on gifts not only made in the USA, but made in Cattaraugus County by local, incredibly talented artists and artisans. Visit www.eastotto.com.

November 7-9

Reserve your tickets now for the ninth annual Brew Masters Dinner with a “Cirque de Bière” theme, at the Holiday Valley Lodge on Friday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. This evening of gastronomic exploration features nationally recognized craft beers paired with locally sourced culinary creations. The event is an intimate Brew Master meet and greet, with a “most unusual master of ceremonies” who will inform and entertain throughout the evening. Brewers will be on hand to discuss their beers and explain the pairing decisions. Tickets are $65 per person and are going fast. Visit www.holidayvalley.com.

Then on Saturday, Holiday Valley, the Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company will host the 11th annual Beer and Wine Festival at Holiday Valley’s Yodeler Lodge from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Sample a variety of handcrafted beers from more than 30 of the best New York State and American craft breweries, as well as wines from New York, Southern Ontario and Ellicottville vintners. The event also features hard cider tasting, live music and great food. Advance tickets are $50/person through Oct. 31; $60 beginning Nov. 1. Visit www.holidayvalley.com.

Over at the Winery of Ellicottville at 14 Monroe Street in the village, you’re invited to a Fall Open House on Nov. 8 and 9, complete with complimentary light fare, gifts and prizes. The winery is debuting two new wines and launching a new website. Visit www.wineryofellicottville.com.

November 16

Cattaraugus County Arts Council annually sponsors its Routes to Art Holiday Sale at Holiday Valley. This year, more than 25 of the region’s finest artists and artisans will be selling their creations at the resort’s main lodge overlooking the slopes. The holiday sale is your best opportunity all year to purchase unique, personal and artistic gifts, including cards, books, prints, jewelry, pottery, ornaments and more all at affordable prices! The event runs from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Visit www.routestoart.com.

November 28-30

The Christmas season officially kicks off on Friday, Nov. 28 with Christmas in Ellicottville. Be sure to head to the village to sing along with strolling carolers performing all of your favorite holiday tunes, while the smell of hot chocolate and the decorated windows in this 19th century village bring back thoughts of Christmas past. At dark, the village comes to life when thousands of white lights and the three-story tall village Christmas tree are lit.

Throughout the weekend, activities include more Christmas carolers, a live reindeer, breakfast with Santa, horse and wagon rides, interactive children’s activities, as well as fire truck rides with Santa. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.

And don’t forget – Saturday, Nov. 29 is Small Business Saturday! Show your support for independent business owners across the country by choosing to do your holiday shopping away from the malls and big-box stores. There’s simply no place better than Ellicottville to find that perfect, unique gift for someone special on your shopping list! Then celebrate your treasures in one of Ellicottville’s fabulous restaurants.