mardigrasBy Eva Potter

Visit Ellicottville this spring and experience a very special rebirth. Exciting new events, annual family favorites, team sports competitions, peaceful solo adventures and the joyful sounds of bluegrass fill the calendar between now and the beginning of summer.

On the Slopes

Just because spring is around the corner doesn’t mean winter is leaving anytime soon, and now is the time — believe it, or not — to plan for next winter by buying your Holiday Valley season passes at a great price. Special pricing ends April 30. Call (716) 699-2345 or visit for details.

The annual Winter Carnival at Holiday Valley, March 8–9, is a perennial favorite with lots of events on and off the mountain. Make it a weekend and be sure to wear your zaniest ski costumes. And don’t forget the beads! Snow pony races, snow bowling, dual beer and root beer race, a costume parade down Mardi Gras, the annual Snowbar, cookouts, face painting, the Ski Patrol pancake breakfast, the Yodeler Dummy Downhill and more family-style fun fill the schedule. Find more info at

On Saturday, March 8, head to the village to watch the fun

unfold in the annual Mardi Gras Parade. Gather along the side-

walks to watch this colorful display of winter joy explode with

wild costumes, beads, floats, music and lots of happy people embracing winter in Ellicottville.

HoliMont’s Mardi Gras takes place March 8–9 for members and includes a torchlight parade, costume parade, “clock your speed” radar race, root beer race and a lively après ski party

with live music. Their Spring Carnival, March 10–14, is filled with great social events, fun times on the slopes, contests for adults and kids, activities in the chalet and hopefully some sunny days on the patio.

Holiday Valley hosts the Freestyle EQS (Eastern Qualifying Series) Championships March 14-16. Spectators are invited to watch as 160 competitors from the northeastern U.S. compete in moguls, aerials and slopestyle disciplines. These skiers, Young Guns and Youth groups, have earned enough points through events this season to qualify for this competition. All competitions can be viewed from base areas. The mogul course takes place on Yodeler, aerials on Foxfire and slopestyle on Snoozer.

The Quarterpipe Competition at Holiday Valley on March 15 takes place at the base of Yodeler, when the huge Winter Carnival Snowbar is reshaped into a giant quarterpipe. Anyone can participate. Registration ($5 fee) starts at 10 a.m. at Yodeler. Event starts at noon. Helmets are required. If under 18, a parent signature is necessary.

The Acrobag Jump hits Holiday Valley March 20–23 and will operate weather permitting. Experience the thrill of launching yourself off the ramp, doing a few tricks and ending the stunt with a

cool soft landing. Hours and ticket costs to be announced. If under

18, a parent’s signature is required and so are helmets. More

info at

The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce members and their

guests gather for the annual Chamber Ski Day, a great day of

skiing or boarding at HoliMont on March 20. Ski pass, BBQ

lunch, après ski party, raffles and live music included. Call (716) 699-2320 or go to to register.

The Pond Skimming event on March 22 at Holiday Valley is a sure sign that spring is around the corner. Sign up to skim across an ice water-filled pond or just watch. Laughs are guaranteed! There’s also a Cardboard Box Race with points given for creativity, style and ingenuity. Information and registration forms available at

Stick around on March 23 to run the Northwind Super-G. Racers of all ages can participate. Let it rip and check your speed in the radar trap. Registration takes place at the Training Center the day of the event. Helmets required … speed suits optional! Parent signature required.

Satisfying Creativity

This year, Holiday Valley is hosting the first annual Enchanted Mountain Music Festival taking place April 11–13. It’s a three-day weekend filled with bluegrass and roots music concerts, singing and instrumental workshops, and jamming as you unite with amateur and professional players and music lovers. Award-winning bands include Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line, as well as Cornerstone, Creek Bend and Paris Texas. Lodging packages are available at

Tamarack Club at Holiday Valley is set to host several artists participating in this year’s annual Routes to Art regional arts tour May 17–18. Hit the road for an adventurous driving weekend as you visit 39 of the most talented artists in the region who welcome you to visit the world of art and learn about their creative process. Artists will be gathered in hub locations, like the Tamarack Club, or in their personal studios. Be sure to bring your wallet, because you are guaranteed to bring home a piece you just can’t live without! Map and artist bios at

Ready, Set, Go

Looking for a little friendly or fierce competition? Yes, we have that, too! So save the date for these sporting events taking place at Holiday Valley.

While the NEW Cycling Weekend, taking place June 6-8, isn’t a race, it will certainly challenge you! With basecamp at Holiday Valley, participants will challenge their strength and endurance on 25-, 40- and 60-mile rides over rolling, scenic terrain. A package for $259 includes some meals and lodging. For reservations, call 1-800-323-0020.

The Mudstock party on June 13 kicks off the annual Mudslide Trail Run. The 3.5-mile obstacle trail run on June 14 begins at the top of the mountain at Spruce Lake and heads downhill with a slippery mudslide finish down Yodeler. The 5.4-mile course includes uphill terrain. There’s even a ½-mile Kids’ MiniMudslide! Costumes are highly encouraged with prizes for most creative at the post-race party. Visit for details.