By Kellen M. Quigley
Don’t be fooled by the recent thaw — there is still plenty of winter left, which means plenty of time to enjoy all Ellicottville and the Enchanted Mountains have to offer for outdoor and indoor fun this time of year. Get ready to mark your calendar.
On Friday, Feb. 8, check out Holiday Valley’s Mountain Ski Fest, a day full of skiing, snowboarding, activities and camaraderie for skiers or riders age 21
Ski Fest includes ski and snowboard demo equipment from local shops, recreational racing, breakfast, lunch and beer and wine and tastings.
Bring a non-skiing friend 21 or older and included in their package for the day will be a free lesson, rental and beginner area lift ticket.
Want to join other free-spirited skiers for a day of peace, love and telemark skiing? Head to Telestock on Friday, Feb. 22.
Centered around Holiday Valley’s Yodeler Champagne Sundeck, the day includes free tele demos with the pros, cool merch and a cookout. Special lift ticket rates are available for participants.
Brought to you by Dom’s Butcher Block, 22 Designs, Scarpa, Telemark Skier, Free Heel Life, Fly Low and the City Garage. Call City Garage at 699-2054 for more information.
New this year at HoliMont is the “Frosty CX” fat bike race, an event for all you non-skiers who still want to enjoy the outdoors.
A fat bike is a mountain bike with humungous tires that are made for snow. The event is open to everyone and is already a buzz among the biking community. Medals and prizes will be awarded. Register online at bikereg.com.
Also on Feb. 23, join in the Penguin Paddle, an annual fundraiser for Holiday Valley’s Lounsbury Adaptive Program. The day will be filled with wonderful auction items, delicious food and lots of laughs as people slip inside garbage bags and slide on their bellies “penguin style” down the bottom of Yodeler slope. More info at www.holidayvalley.com.
Back again for the second year is Ellicottville’s newest music festival, the Winter Music Jam, that will take place Feb. 22 to 24 at many favorite venues throughout the village and at Holiday Valley. More than a dozen different acts are expected to perform over the weekend, offering all different kinds of music for people’s listening pleasure, as opposed to blues and jazz.
All the venues will have music that weekend, but there’s always lots of great live entertainment in Ellicottville.
For those who aren’t skiers or snowboarders, enjoy up to 22 lanes of pure downhill fun at Holiday Valley Tubing Company, located a few miles outside downtown Ellicottville on Route 242.
With the park’s new conveyor belt left, more tubers can make their way back up the hill sooner, which means more rides down the hill. The tubing park is open Thursdays through Sundays, and daily over the Presidents week school break.
The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster is yet another way to enjoy Holiday Valley. Get in your own coaster car, ride to the top, then control your speed as you soar back down. The coaster, located by the Tannenbaum Lodge, is open Fridays through Sundays and daily over Presidents week.
Snowshoeing is an easy way to enjoy the great outdoors. Bring your own or rent a pair at City Garage, Adventure Bound, Holiday Valley or HoliMont and take to the trails surrounding Ellicottville or in the nearby Allegany State Park.
Allegany State Park also offers miles of groomed cross-country trails for cross country skiing in the Art Roscoe trails system every Friday at 10:30 a.m. There are also winter snowshoe hikes every Tuesday evening at 4:30 for a trek into the sunset.
The nearby Seneca Allegany Casino plays host to some amazing events as well.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Chicks with Hits tour is coming to the Allegany Events Center, featuring Pam Tillis, Terri Clark and Suzy Bogguss playing a host of hits and covers with acoustic guitars, a little bit of percussion and some bass.
Set on a small stage that feels more like they came over to your living room for a night of 1990s country. This is definitely one show not to miss — three country greats at the top of their game in a uniquely intimate show full of harmony and humor you won’t soon forget.
The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
The twists, turns, thrills and high speeds in the snow returns to Seneca Allegany Feb. 22 and 23 with annual AMSOIL Championship Snocross races.
The region’s winter tradition promises fun for the whole family during a two-day, nationally-televised event that continually brings fans in the thousands to descend upon the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains for nonstop, heart-pumping, action-packed races with the world’s best snowmobile athletes.
February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s definitely not short on fun, both indoors and out. Get out there and enjoy!