By Alicia Dziak

Around here, Columbus Day doesn’t just mean a nice long weekend for the kids—it means Ellicottville’s Fall Festival weekend, and you won’t want to miss anything that’s planned for this annual tradition, happening Oct. 10-11.

Ready for some good old-fashioned family fun?

Stroll the Village streets to check out the arts and crafts show (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), mouth-watering festival food (6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and amusement rides (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).

Or take the short drive out of town to Pumpkinville, where you can navigate a new corn maze, jump on some bouncy inflatable pillows, pose in and around your favorite fall-themed props, race the pedal cars and eat even more.

Ready to work off all those calories?

Sign up for the annual Fall Festival 5K on Saturday, Oct. 10. Runners and walkers will enjoy a challenging 5K or 1-mile walking course, starting and finishing at Holiday Valley. For more info or to register, visit

Or head out Sunday, Oct. 11 for the Fall Festival Mountain Bike Race, where beginner, sport and expert Mountain Bike Racers take on a fast and fun course, starting at 10 a.m. at the HV Training Center.

Ready for some sightseeing?

Ride the chairlift to the top of Mardi Gras for $5, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, where you can eat, drink and be merry while listening to live music and viewing the fall foliage from above. Or head over to the Spruce Lake Chairlift (also $5) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and check out the reflections of the leaves in beautiful Spruce Lake.

For even more scenery, head over to HoliMont where the Exhibition Express lift will also be running on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ready for some adventure?

Sky High Aerial Park, Mountain Coaster and the Climbing Forest are open Fridays, Saturday and Sundays through October 18, and Saturday and Sunday only from October 24 through November 1. Take in the fall colors from the treetops as you navigate the ropes and zipline course, climb in the 3D Climbing Forest and soar down the Mountain on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster.

Ready for some dancing?

Some of your favorite local bands will be performing at Holiday Valley from noon to 4 p.m. both days at the top of Mardi Gras, and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. both days at the Cabana Bar. Or head into town, where the hot spots will be chock full of live music all weekend long.

Ready for a bargain?

Stop by the Ski and Snowboard Swap in Holiday Valley’s Main Lodge (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday), and stock up at the Holiday Valley Mountain Shop’s Sale on the Plaza Deck. Enjoy wine and cheese and purchase season passes in Customer Service.

Head to the Village and snag up great deals on last year’s gear from Mud Sweat N Gears, City Garage and Dekdebruns at the huge tent sale at Washington and Jefferson Streets.

Ready to make some memories?

Of course you are! Fall Festival has been around since 1975, and it’s only gotten bigger and better every year. Action-packed fun awaits at every turn, so take the weekend to spend QT with your offspring, catch up with friends and indulge a little—you can sleep in on Monday!

For more information, visit