By Alicia Dziak

The countdown to the Summer Music Festival is on! Don’t miss the ever-growing lineup of fun, excitement and tons of live music coming to Ellicottville July 1-3.

“The Summer Music Fest is such a great event for the entire area and Holiday Valley is proud to be a sponsor and host again this year,” said Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director at Holiday Valley. “The lineup has something for everyone.”

Kick off the weekend at the Luau party on the second floor of Holiday Valley’s Main Lodge. Enjoy a festive themed party with friends old and new, take a chairlift ride and then go ahead and lose yourself in the music.

After the Luau, check out Rusted Root. Known for such hits as “Send Me on My Way,” and “Faith I Do Believe,” Rusted Root draws their sound from a fusion of acoustic, rock, world and more. Show opener Funktional Flow goes on at 7 p.m., with Rusted Root following at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 pre-sale, $30 at the gate.

Head back to Holiday Valley on Saturday, July 2, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) takes the stage at 8 p.m. The BPO will perform with the theme “Heroes and Villains,” playing music from well-known television and movie heroes. As the evening progresses, the sky will be aglow with fireworks, set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, as well as some other truly patriotic music. Tickets are $30 pre-sale, $35 at the gate.

On Sunday, July 3, you’ll be “Rockin’ into the Night” as 38 Special takes the stage, performing hits from decades of southern rock. Sunday’s opener is Buffalo’s own Caitlin Koch. Tickets are $30 pre-sale, $35 at the gate.

“We’re pleased to present the concert lineup that we have for Summer Music Festival this year,” said Chris Chapman, media and communications manager for the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, who is sponsoring the festival. “The blend of musical styles are sure to be a hit. As always, children 12 and under are free with ticketed adults. We are also one of only a few outdoor venues that allow people to bring in coolers, picnic baskets, what have you. All we ask is that you take out what you bring in. As the weekend gets closer, we are getting more and more excited about the festival and about all that makes Ellicottville such a special place in the summer time.”

Want to upgrade your weekend experience? VIP Packages are available for $340. The package includes: two tickets to the Rusted Root concert and two tickets to the Sponsors Party on July 1, two tickets to the VIP Gala dinner party and two tickets to Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Concert on July 2 and two tickets to the 38 Special Concert on July 3. In addition, your names appear as sponsors in the program. You can enjoy reserved VIP seating and limited preferred parking, as well as access to the stage-side VIP lounge.

Holiday Valley will also offer a variety of concessions when you need to replenish after dancing the night away on the slopes.

All shows will take place at the stage at the bottom of the School Haus slope, on the number one fairway. There’s plenty of parking in Holiday Valley parking lots, with a handicapped parking entrance just before the Holiday Valley maintenance garage. Stretch golf carts shuttles for the handicapped are also available.

Tickets for all concerts and the Luau can be purchased at Lodging packages are still available at the resort’s Tamarack Club, the Inn and through Holiday Valley Rental Management.

So just what is there to do during the weekend’s down time? At Holiday Valley you can choose from golf, the pool complex and Sky High Adventure Park, for starters. But don’t miss the Village of Ellicottville’s festival weekend, which has even more in store!

On Saturday, check out the annual Pet Parade at 11 a.m. along Washington Street. Browse the arts and crafts show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jefferson Street both Saturday and Sunday. Indulge in some strawberry shortcake at the Strawberry Festival from noon to 3 p.m. at the Village Gazebo. Check out even more music at the Winery of Ellicottville Main Stage on Monroe Street.

Sprinkle in even more live music at the Village Gazebo, where Acoustified Duo will be playing July 1 from 1-4 p.m., and Generations will perform from 1-4 p.m. on July 2.

Summer Music Festival weekend is sure to be a spectacular time filled with amazing music, with Ellicottville as the backdrop. Come for a show, all three, or better yet, spend the weekend discovering why EVL is a favorite summertime destination!