By Alicia Dziak

Head to Holiday Valley March 11-12 for the biggest family-friendly party of the season. It’s Winter Carnival time— get ready to have some fun!

Winter Carnival is held in conjunction with the village’s Mardi Gras weekend, and what Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a parade or two? On Saturday, don’t miss the annual Mardi Gras parade through the streets of Ellicottville. On Sunday, sport your favorite costume and head down Holiday Valley’s Mardi Gras slope for the costume parade, beginning at noon. Don’t be shy—costume judging takes place at the bottom and the winner gets a season’s pass for next year!

Following the costume parade, visitors can head to Yodeler for the Dummy Downhill, where people’s homemade dummies will take a ride down the hill and hopefully stay intact.

Hungry? Enjoy the Safety Patrol Cookout at the base of Yodeler, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

On Sunday, head to the Champagne Warming Hut for the Ski Patrol Pancake Breakfast, going from 9 a.m. till it’s gone. Also on Sunday, starting at noon, stop by the Main Lodge for the Lederhose Ski Club hot dog cookout and wine and cheese from Ellicottville Ski Club. Wash it all down at the Snowbar, open from noon to 4 30 p.m., which is just what it sounds like—a giant bar made out of snow at the base of Yodeler.

Music anyone? On Saturday, check out Mo Porter performing at the Yodeler Lodge, with the Party Squad there on Sunday; both will be performing from 4 to 8 p.m.

Don’t forget your non-perishable food donations for the Ellicottville Food Pantry during the annual Ski Patrol Food Drive. These can be donated at Tops Market on March 10 and 11, and also during the Mardi Gras parade in the village.

Other weekend highlights include face painting and snow sculptures throughout the resort.

You won’t want to miss any of the high-energy fun that is Winter Carnival. For more info, visit

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, March 11

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Face Painting in Customer Service

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Safety Patrol Cookout, base of Yodeler

noon-4:30 p.m. Snowbar, base of Yodeler

4 to 8 p.m. Mo Porter band, Yodeler Lodge

6:30 p.m. Mardi Gras Parade, Village of Ellicottville.

Sunday, March 12

9 a.m. Ski Patrol Pancake Breakfast, top of Champagne Warming Hut

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Face Painting in Customer Service

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Safety Patrol Cookout, base of Yodeler

11:45 a.m. Line up for Costume Parade, Edelweiss Lean-to on Mardi Gras

noon Costume Parade down Mardi Gras, judging at bottom

noon Lederhose Ski Club hot dog cookout, Ellicottville Ski Club wine and cheese slopeside Holiday Valley Lodge

noon-4:30 p.m. Snowbar at Yodeler

2 p.m. Dummy Downhill, Yodeler. $5 entry

4 to 8 p.m. Party Squad Band, Yodeler Lodge