By Kellen M. Quigley

As temperatures begin to rise, springtime activities are just around the corner. But there is still going to be plenty of snow in some areas, so March in Ellicottville has something for everyone. 

Fast-paced, family-friendly, laughter-inducing or just plain fun, enjoy it all as ski season winds down and we welcome the blooming of flowers and return of green grass.

On March 7, head to Holiday Valley to paint your own shotski with Canvas-N-Cocktails. It’s the perfect girl’s night out! Design your own ski for $50 or create a shotski for $60 in the company of friends with a cocktail or two to help get your creative juices flowing! Held at the Snowledge Room in the Tamarack Club at p.m. Text Rebecca at (716) 560-7489 to reserve your spot today. Please leave your name, phone number and number of painters.

Then on March 14 and 15, don’t miss the climax of the winter in Ellicottville during Mardi Gras and Winter Carnival Weekend. It’s the biggest winter event of the season with fun activities and events for the whole family. Highlights include the Snowbar at Yodeler with music and fun, the Village Parade in Ellicottville on Saturday night, the costume parade on Sunday where the winner gets a season pass for next year and everyone’s favorite, the Dummy Downhill!

This year we’re celebrating Ellicottville’s Bicentennial, so get out your vintage ski clothing and enjoy. At 1:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Holiday Valley founder Edna Northrup will be giving a fireside chat at the Holiday Valley Main Lodge. Refreshments including hot mulled wine and many items showing the town of Ellicottville’s history and the start of skiing!

March 21 is a chance for skiers and riders to experience the giant Intense Milk bottle at the base of Yodeler at the Intense Milk Rail Jam from noon to 2 p.m. It’s free to enter but you must have a lift ticket and a helmet. Kids under 18 must have a parent signature to participate.

The following day, celebrate spring by squeezing into your speed suit and get ready for this fun Foxfire Super-G — everyone’s invited! Cost is $5 per racer; register at the Training Center. Training runs from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Rangers race at 11, everyone else at 12:30 p.m. Helmets required, speed suit (or costume) optional.

Always another great time on the slopes, the annual Pond Skimming returns to Holiday Valley on Saturday, March 28. Sign up to skim across an ice water filled pond or come cheer on your favorite competitors.

If you love tubing, get to Holiday Valley Tubing Company! The tubing park offers up to 22 lanes of fast-paced downhill fun, two tows to pull you back up, and a ‘Lil Tubers area for the tykes. The tubing park is open Thursdays through Sundays for a few more weeks. Visit www.holidayvalley.com/winter/tubing/ for rates and more info.

The next few weeks are also the last of the season to hop on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster during its winter season. The coaster, located by Holiday Valley’s Tannenbaum Lodge, lets guests ride up in their own car, then control their own speed on the twisting, turning way back down. For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/winter.

It’s not too early to start thinking about next year’s fun on the slopes. Purchase your 2020-21 Classic Season Passes or Ultimate Passes through April 30 for the best rates! Plus you are eligible for a fee-free installment plan which makes purchasing a pass very affordable.

If you are a new Classic Passholder, once you have paid in full you can start skiing this year on March 1. Rangers, Eagles, Race team, Freestyle Team, Snowboard Team and Masters Programs also available now.

March in Western New York also means all things maple. Be sure to check out the state-wide Maple Weekends, March 21-22 and 28-39. Maple producers across New York state will be hosting open houses for the public to see how maple syrup and other related products are made. This family-oriented event features sugar house tours, samples, activities and much more. For more info and to find participating maple farms, visit www.nysmaple.com.

March in Ellicottville means fun on the snow, parties in the streets and on the slopes, the inevitable return of springtime and fun for all. Get out and enjoy!