By Alicia Dziak

It’s November, and as the days continue to get cooler and shorter, it’s time to enjoy what the area has to offer this time of year. Live it up with your social circle, prep for winter and shop ‘til you drop!

Check out the East Otto Country Holiday Open House this weekend, Nov. 5-6. East Otto Country has been offering quality handmade and homegrown treasures to the public for over two decades. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on gifts made in Cattaraugus County by local artisans.  You’ll find original watercolor and oil paintings, beautiful handmade stoneware pottery bowls, mugs, casseroles and more.

For more info, visit www.EastOtto.com

Looking for something different to do this weekend? Check out the Fly Fishing Film Tour Nov. 5, when Holiday Valley and Adventure Bound on the Fly present a collection of outstanding fly fishing films to welcome the kickoff of the November Great Lakes steelhead fly fishing season. Tickets are $25 presale or $30 at the door and include pizza, salad and a beer tasting. Great door prizes and silent auction items from Patagonia, Orvis, Bison Cooler, Buff USA, Point 6, Osprey, Chaco, Outdoor Research and Adventure Bound on the Fly. Presale tickets available through Adventure Bound on the Fly.

Getting married or planning a big party? Don’t miss the Wedding and Party Supplies Flea Market and Vendor Expo on Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Springville Health and Fitness, 243 West Main Street in Springville. Here you’ll find all things wedding and party, including vendors such as photographers, printers and florists, as well as people selling their second-hand wedding wares, such as dresses, centerpieces and more.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 is Election Day. Don’t forget to get out and vote!

Friday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and time to honor local heroes who have served our country.

Like beer and wine? Head to the 13th annual Beer and Wine Festival at Holiday Valley, Nov. 11 and 12. Friday night’s Beer and Wine Dinner, “The Bootleggers Ball” starts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 11, and will feature several dishes prepared with and paired with unique and special brews. Tickets are $69 for drinks, beer sampling and dinner. Purchase tickets at ww.holidayvalley.com.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., head to the Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival, which features 30 craft brewers with over 100 beers and wines from New York State and the region. Three floors of the Main Lodge will boast live music. Tickets are $55 through Nov. 11 and $60 at the door (if available), and are on sale at www.holidayvalley.com and at Wegmans stores. You must be 21 to purchase a ticket and also to attend the festival. Each ticket includes a $5 food voucher for the Brew Festival food court.

Get your holiday shopping started at the annual CCAC Winter Arts Festival at Holiday Valley, Nov. 19-20. Paintings, prints, photographs, pottery, jewelry, and fiber arts are a few of the many original artworks that will be for sale at this juried exhibition and sale. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For all the outdoor sportsmen and women, Saturday, Nov. 19 marks the opening day of regular deer hunting season.

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Nov. 24. Gather with family and friends, and prepare a feast like no other. Give back by spending the morning at Springville’s Gobble for Groceries event.

The following day, it’s time to start thinking about winter and all that comes with it. Besides being the tentative opening day for Holiday Valley, it’s also Christmas in Ellicottville. Enjoy beautiful strolling choirs harmonizing to favorite Christmas carols, take in the smell of hot chocolate and the sights of decorated storefront windows in the historic Village. As daylight comes to an end, the three-story tall Village Christmas tree will be lit.  The weekend-long event will feature Christmas carolers, a live reindeer, breakfast with Santa, horse and wagon rides, interactive children’s activities as well as Fire Truck rides with Santa, and it’s all free. Check out www.ellicottvilleny.com for more info.

November is also most likely your last chance for a while to get out and hike without having snow underfoot. Enjoy miles of trails at Allegany State Park or McCarty State Forest, visit Little Rock City or Griffis Sculpture Park.

Get ready for the upcoming season by visiting the local ski and snowboard shops, getting new gear or tuning up your current stuff.

This time of year is a time to enjoy indoors or out, with family and friends. November is full of holidays and fun—get out and enjoy before the snow flies!