ski tree

By Deb Everts

Many residents in Ellicottville and the surrounding area are becoming part of Ellicottville’s history by donating their old skis to create a new Christmas tree. The structure will stand on the front lawn of the 1887 building  on Washington Street.

The idea came about when Tyler Burns and Ellicottville attorney John Nelson were thinking that Ellicottville needed a better Christmas tree. Burns said the tree was inspired by the famed 17-foot tall “Telluride Ski Tree” that was the original idea of a group of local Telluride merchants in 2013. He said Ellicottville’s 30-foot tree will be nearly twice as tall.

“We kind of based our idea off of that, but we wanted to make Ellicottville’s bigger and better,” Burns said. “It’s a little over 30-feet tall and we’re putting about 400 skis on it.”

As the tree was going up on Tuesday, Burns said they currently had all the skis they needed and they’d be putting Christmas lights on it soon.

“Maple Grove Enterprises, a welding and building company out of Arcade, did all the welding for us on the main structure. John and I have been drilling some skis and taking some bindings off. We have the crew from APEX Construction helping us assemble it, so it’s all hands on deck,” he said.

The Ski Tree is scheduled to be lit on Friday, Nov. 24 around 6 p.m. Burns said with the whole 1887 building lit, as well as the tree on the lawn in front of it, a spectacular light show and music program is planned. He said there will also be a a mini-parade, carolers, and a live Nativity scene strolling downtown. There will also be plenty of events going on in the shops as well.

“Being the first year, we’re doing whatever we can to make the ski tree a success and we’ll grow it from here,” Burns said. “We have plenty of lights to go on this year’s tree, but next year, we hope to add more lights to make an even bigger and better spectacle out of it.”

Burns said the tree will be up and lit during the holiday season and all winter long. If everything goes smoothly, they plan to keep it up year-round.

To help ease the cost of the tree, monetary donations are still being accepted. The hope is to have commemorative etched ornaments on next year’s tree, which will be offered in the near future as another way to raise money for the tree. Donations can be mailed to John Nelson, P.O. Box 595, Ellicottville, NY 14731.