By Elizabeth Riggs

While Memorial Day weekend may feel like the unofficial start to the summer, take a few moments to reflect on the true reason for this holiday: remembrance. Fly that American flag, immerse yourself in patriotism, take a few moments to reflect on the lives that have been lost and the freedoms we all enjoy and take part in one of the many events happening in the area to celebrate.

On Memorial Day, a parade will be held in Ellicottville at 10:45 a.m., beginning on Mill Street and moving up Washington Street to the monument on the village square. The American Legion Post 659 will conduct a service at 11 a.m. featuring a speech from Mayor Burrell and a 21-gun salute from the honor guard. An open house will follow at the Post Club.

This weekend, Adventure Bound on the Fly is hosting several events. On Friday, May 26, the store will host a customer appreciation Friday evening social at 5 p.m. on the demo paddle center featuring stand up paddle boards and kayaks to demo free of charge as well as shop staff on hand to teach basic paddle strokes and technique. On Saturday, May 27, guests are invited to participate in a group kayak or paddleboard outing on Cattaraugus Creek from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also, Monday, May 29 will be the kickoff of Adventure Bound On the Fly Guided Fishing Trips.

Holiday Valley is also a great place to be this weekend. Its three-pool complex will be open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., weather permitting. The Double Black Diamond golf course, Sky High Adventure Park, Mountain Coaster, Falling Waters Spa, bike trails and other summer amenities all are open and ready for enjoyment as well. For complete information, visit www.holidayvalley.com or call (716) 699-2345.

Horseback riders are invited to join in on Little Valley Riders’ Annual Memorial Day Trailride 2017, which will be held from Friday through Monday. Bring your horse and enjoy the company of other equine enthusiasts. Also included in the festivities will be breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as a dance on Saturday evening. The Little Valley Horse Park is located at 5397 Route 353, Little Valley. For more information, visit their Facebook Page: Little Valley Riders Club, or call (716) 307-9091.

Also for horse lovers, the Nash Hill Equestrian Center, located at 10999 Persia Road, Gowanda, is hosting the second of a series of seven shows in its “battle” series. For more information on this battle call (716) 257-5257

Also in Little Valley is the Speedway’s Season opener on Sunday, May 28. Races will include Memorial Day Late Model & 358 Special, Super Late Modifieds, Street Stocks and Crate Late Models. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the races begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit their Facebook page @Lvspeedway or call (716) 938-9146.

Allegany will be hosting its annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday from 8:30-11 a.m. The parade will begin lining up at the North First Street parking lot at the Allegany Engine Company at the Robert H. Livingston Community Center. The parade will begin at the intersection of North First Street and West Main Street at 9 a.m. and will be followed by a memorial service by the Allegany American Legion at the Veteran’s Memorial located next to the Town Hall Building on West Main Street. A luncheon, which is open to the public, will follow the ceremony.

For the history enthusiasts, Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) will be holding a brief Memorial Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley. For more information, visit their Facebook page, cattcomemorial.

In Cherry Creek, a Relief Amish Auction will be held, inviting attendees to experience a special day of Amish life in the country. The auction will feature Amish furniture, including tables chairs, rockers and clocks, as well as quilts, rugs, wall hangings, livestock, outdoor items, farm equipment and more. The auction will be held at Empire Livestock Cherry Creek Market, located at 6732 Pickup Hill Road, Cherry Creek. For more information call (716) 257-3431 or (716) 296-5041.