By Kellen M. Quigley
A destination for people from across the region and internationally, the Ellicottville area offers plenty for families, friends and more during the fall.
It all kicks off with Fall Festival next weekend, Oct. 12 and 13. This is the oldest and largest event in the village that takes place when the foliage of the surrounding hills are ablaze with color.
Started in 1975 as a way to get people into the budding ski town of Ellicottville as the winter merchandise was coming into the stores, Fall Festival has developed into a festival that brings in more people than organizers can count and bolsters the village’s business base to keep Ellicottville the exciting yet quaint year-round village it has become.
Tens of thousands of festival-goers come to Ellicottville each year and make for a lively weekend of unique foods, fine art, an arts and crafts show, carnival rides, live entertainment and much more.
All of the festivities get underway Saturday morning at 10 a.m. when the vendors open for business and the food on Jefferson Street is served. Kids can enjoy carnival rides in the Washington Square parking lot starting at 11 a.m.
The following weekend, HoliMont will host its annual HoliCX Cyclocross Race on Oct. 19.
Combining the colorful landscape, cool crisp air and smell of nature with a zig-zag course, a splash of mud, some grass and a handful of barriers, the fourth annual HoliCX race has everything a biking enthusiast could want.
If you like to watch other people suffer where heckling and cowbells are not only allowed but encouraged, then come out and enjoy the fun as a spectator as well.
Then on Oct. 26, runners and walkers of all abilities can enjoy the weekend before Halloween with the EVL Halloween Half.
This fun-filled Halloween-themed event will feature a half marathon and a 5k through the village and surrounding hills of Ellicottville. The race will also benefit local charity partners, the Ellicottville Sports Boosters, a group dedicated to getting local children involved in athletics, as well as the local food pantry.
Participants are invited to run in costume and enjoy other Halloween related activities. If you love running, wearing costumes, meeting other people and having a great time, the EVL Half is for you.
As the season turns to November, stop by Holiday Valley for the annual Beer and Wine Festival, which is legendary for great beers, wines, spirits and good times.
This year’s 16th annual festival is set for Nov. 9 and will feature over 30 craft brewers with over 100 beers and wines from New York state and the Northeast region, plus entertainment on three floors of the beautiful Holiday Valley Lodge.
You must be 21 or older to purchase a ticket and attend the festival.
Following Thanksgiving, get into the holiday spirit with Christmas in Ellicottville, scheduled for Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce will bring you a weekend full of holiday primer events to get you in the mood for Santa to come to town.
From noon on Friday to the last horse-drawn carriage ride on Sunday evening, the weekend is sure to have kids of all ages in the holiday spirit. Sponsored by Wingate by Wyndham and SYSCO, it’s guaranteed to be a weekend of free family fun.
Also that weekend, Holiday Valley, New York state’s largest ski resort, is hoping to have the snowmakers and the ski lifts running for the open day of the 2019-20 ski season, weather permitting. Check holidayvalley.com for more info.
The opening day at HoliMont is tentatively scheduled for mid-December each year. Check holimont.com for the latest updates.
Then on Dec. 7, celebrate the holiday season with A Christmas Stroll through Ellicottville, including a living Nativity, complete with a camel, all downtown in the village.
The stroll was created in 1987 by a group of citizens who wanted to organize such an event, deciding that they wanted a live nativity scene, with children dressed as angels and shepherds, who walked around the village and met at the gazebo. There, the baby Jesus was presented and caroling presided. The tradition has continued on for the past 28 years.
For more information on all that’s happening in Ellicottville, visit ellicottvilleny.com.