A three-day festival celebrating all things lacrosse is coming to Ellicottville this weekend, as players from both sides of the border will have the opportunity to complete throughout the village and beyond.

Those competitions will include a college scrimmage, as St. Bonaventure University will play John Carroll University at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Bonnies’ first scrimmage. That game is scheduled to be placed at Ellicottville Central School.

The St. Bonaventure coach, Randy Mearns, is a new Ellicottville resident.

Elsewhere, teams ranging from the boys youth category through to the master’s divisions will vie for the chance to win all across the Ellicottville area, with games hosted at the Village Park, at the school and at the new Chamber of Commerce sports fields at the bottom of Holiday Valley Road next to Holiday Valley Realty.

No ordinary breed of lacrosse event, the festival is organized by the legendary Rhino Lacrosse Company, founded and run by former professional lacrosse player and U.S. national team player Ryan Powell together with business partner Mike Riorden.

“We call our events festivals instead of tournaments with good reason, because they aren’t just lacrosse competitions,” Powell said. “They’re unique experiences for players and family members alike that have a passion for lacrosse.”

Powell said Rhino’s events have a different vibe, with everything from food trucks to clothing and jewellery vendors, wooden lacrosse stick making demonstrations to fun zones and live music.

Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce executive director Brian McFadden said the tournament couldn’t take place at better time.

“We’ll have our chairlift running, so families can go to the top of the mountain, whether it’s to enjoy the great views or to have a picnic by the lake,” he said. “It’s probably the most comfortable time of the year as well. Not as hot as the summer months, but still a great time to enjoy all of the outdoor patios and live music we have in town.”

Compared to last year’s tournament involving 39 teams, based on current registrations, it’s predicted between 50 and 70 teams will attend this year’s event.

Additionally, Ellicottville will be unveiling a brand-new outdoor recreation center, The Chamber Fields at Holiday Valley, with two additional playing fields for a total of eight fields for this year’s tournament.

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