Thousands Expected to Enjoy the Weekend

By Alicia Dziak

The lush green hills of Ellicottville are changing to hues of bright yellows and reds, and the shops in town are starting to switch out their summer stock for ski season. This can only mean one thing — fall is here and Fall Festival is not far behind.

Fall Festival, an annual tradition taking place this year on Oct. 11–12, attracts thousands of visitors from near and far to experience all Ellicottville has to offer.

Guests arriving on Friday can get a jumpstart on the weekend with their pick of delicious fare from many of the vendors on Jefferson Street before heading to the village’s fine establishments for a wide selection of live music and good cheer.

Start Saturday out at Holiday Valley with a workout. The Fall Festival 5K and Fun Walk give you two options to get in your workout before indulging in festival food and drink. Pre-registration for the 5K or Fun Walk is $22 and $25 on race day. Registration includes a T-shirt for the first 300 entrants, and as they last on race day. Participants will also enjoy a post-race party that includes lunch, snacks and beverages immediately following the race. For more information, visit www.heartrateup.com.

Stay at the resort and see the foliage from a different perspective. Sky High will be open Friday through Monday, giving guests the opportunity to navigate through ropes courses in the Aerial Park, climb high into the blazing trees in the Climbing Forest, or breezing down on the Mountain Coaster tracks.

Have some fun and check out some live music at the top of the mountain by taking a scenic ride up the Mardi Gras lift to the Mountain Top Cookout with live music, both Saturday and Sunday. The Spruce Lake chairlift will also be open for those looking for a leisurely ride to the top for around the scenic Spruce Lake area.

Get ready for the upcoming season by gearing up at the Ski and Snowboard Swap at Creekside Lodge. Don’t miss out on the other sales going on all weekend at the resort and at tent sales and ski and snowboard shops in the village.

Want to beat the traffic into the village? Take the shuttle! For only $3, enjoy the convenience of shuttle service running Friday through Sunday between the village and the Inn at Holiday Valley.

Be sure to check out the food, arts and crafts vendors set up in the streets, as well as kids’ carnival rides and the Ellicottville Idol contest at the Village Gazebo.

As always, enjoy the action-packed nightlife throughout the village with live entertainment nightly.

Sunday the fun continues with the Fall Festival Mountain Bike Race at Holiday Valley. The bike race includes both single and double track on challenging and beautiful terrain. Registration cost for the mountain bike race is $15-$25, depending on the level, and race day registration will be available for an additional $10, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Participants can also enjoy a post-race party at the Mountain Sports Center, with snacks and amazing door prizes.

The ski swap, chairlift rides and live music at the Valley continue on Sunday, as well as the fun in the village, including the rides and vendors. Be sure to stop by all the fabulous shops on your way through and score some great finds!

The countdown to Ellicottville’s busiest festival of the year is on. Brave the crowds and come on down for the time of your life!