12 Things to Do in September

By Jann Wiswall

Every season’s a great season in Ellicottville, but early fall is exceptionally lovely as the forests begin their beauty contest, all the luscious late crops are at their peak and the air feels especially fresh and clean.

A great way to get the lay of the land is to start with a chairlift ride at Holiday Valley. For just $5, you can ride to the top of the mountain, get the birds’ eye view, and then hike or ride back down. Weekends through Oct. 19, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

For a more physical adventure in the mountains, be sure to explore the thrills, chills and family fun at Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park, weekends from Sept 5 through Nov. 2. The Aerial Park features 13 challenge courses from easy to “commando,” with bridges, obstacles, ladders, zip lines and more. The Climbing Forest offers 10 trees with color-coded handholds to guide harnessed climbers from beginner to expert. And the Mountain Coaster is a gravity-defying, squeal-inducing ride with 15 curves, a jump and a spiral. Call 1-800-699-HIGH for reservations.

And, be sure to put these great events on your Sept. calendar:

If you missed The Woods at Bear Creek’s Grand Opening Celebration, you’ve got another chance to tour the grounds and learn about what” glamping,” or glamour camping, is all about with an End of Summer Bash. On Sept. 6 from 5-7 p.m., enjoy complimentary appetizers, cash bar and tours. Then, stick around for live entertainment from The Boys of Summer band from 7-11 p.m. Overnight accommodations available. The Woods at Bear Creek is located at 3510 Bear Creek Rd., Franklinville, NY 14737. Call (716) 676-2327.

American Idol competitor Kellie Pickler performs at Seneca Allegany Casino on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. Spend an evening with this “small-town girl” of and “be enchanted by the gold-hearted, gold-record selling country star that rose to the spotlight from humble beginnings and bloomed before our eyes.” Visit www.senecaalleganycasino.com.

The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce invites all of its members and their guests to a Sept. 11 9-Hole Golf Outing in memory of David Burns at Holiday Valley’s Double Black Diamond golf course. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com

Saturday, Sept. 13 marks the 2014 opening of everyone’s favorite fall destination, Pumpkinville.  The entire family will love the rides and games; great eats and treats; a bountiful produce barn; locally made fruit, maple and honey products; and, of course, the biggest selection of all shapes, sizes and colors of pumpkins you can imagine. Pumpkinville is open daily from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. through Oct. 31. Visit www.pumpkinville.com.

There are educational seminars and then there are seminars hosted by E-Ville Spirits & Wines owner Shannon Carscallen. This seminar on Saturday, Sept. 13 gives attendees an opportunity to taste a wide variety of South African wines while enjoying a South African Braais (BBQ) featuring cheeses, grilled meats, vegetables and more.  Most important, proceeds from the event will benefit the Ellicottville Food Pantry. The event takes place from 5-8 p.m. at the Ellicottville Town Center. For invitations or to volunteer, call (716) 699-4474.

On Sunday, Sept. 14, enjoy the sounds of 38 Special at Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca. This band blends explosive power with a smooth southern sound that has packed arenas for decades. Visit www.senecaalleganycasino.com.

The following weekend, Sept. 19-21, don’t miss Ellicottville’s Rock N’ Roll Weekend sponsored by the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. The event kicks off Friday with live entertainment in all of the local hot spots all night long. The fun continues Saturday with more performances by regional musicians throughout the village. Then on Sunday, the Classic Car Show everyone loves to enjoy is back for its 15th year from 12-5 p.m. Lovingly maintained cars, trucks and rods are set up in class order for judging by a panel of experienced car enthusiasts. Awards are presented for each class. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 24, the sculptures and landscapes of the one-of-a-kind Griffis Sculpture Park in Ashford Hollow will once again be illuminated with colorful and theatrical lighting when Night Lights at Griffis Sculpture Park returns for 12 evenings (Wednesdays through Saturdays) until Oct. 11. The trails will open from 7:30–9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 7:30–10 p.m. on weekends. Visit www.griffispark.org.

For something super soft and cuddly, be sure to take part in National Alpaca Farm Days throughout the area Sept. 27-28, when alpaca farms across the country open their doors to visitors. Ellicottville, Little Valley and other farms throughout the county will provide tours, demonstrations and opportunities to pet their charming animals. Bring your checkbooks too — most farms will have gorgeous alpaca fashion and other feel-good products available for purchase. Visit www.enchantedmountains.com.

And even though it’s not until Oct., it’s not too early to get the region’s oldest and most popular festival on your calendar. Yes, Oct. 11-12 is Ellicottville Fall Festival weekend. Tens of thousands of festivalgoers make for a lively weekend of unique foods, an arts and crafts show, carnival rides, live entertainment and so much more. Accommodations sell out quickly, so be sure to make your reservations soon. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.