Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at precisely 10:49 a.m. marks the beginning of one of the most wonderful times of the year in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. It’s the autumnal equinox, aka the first day our fabulous fall season.
What could be better than crystal-clear, starlit nights in the low 40s when you crack open the bedroom windows, wrap yourself like a human burrito in layers of soft down quilts and awaken to rolling hills awash in glorious shades of crimson, orange and gold? This fall there is enough fun and adventure in the hills to lure even the most blissful snoozer out from under those nice warm blankets.
Saturday is a great time to head over to the premier purveyors of all things pumpkin at Pumpkinville for their annual Apple Cider Festival from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Visitors can tour the entire cider making process in an authentic, old-fashioned cider mill with a 120-year-old cider press. Enjoy one of autumn’s most delicious beverages while munching on fresh pumpkin doughnuts and ice cream that are all made on the farm while you watch. When you have eaten your fill of all the delectable homemade treats, you can walk off your snack in the 6-acre corn maze, take a hayride or visit some of the many other attractions like the Cow Train, the Corn Cannon, Goat Mountain, and Storyland or the petting zoo.
Pumpkinville is a 200-acre farm located just minutes from Ellicottville and has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously operated pumpkin farm in New York – and perhaps the entire U.S. Pumpkinville is located just minutes from Ellicottville at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley and is open every day through Oct. 31, from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Admission is free with minimal fees for some of the special attractions. Go to www.pumpkinville.com or call (716) 699-2205 for more information.
Normally I’d avoid any event that incorporates the word “pain” in the title, but the First Annual Pain in the Alleganies Half Iron is a welcome exception. Pain in the Alleganies will be held this Sunday, Sept. 23 in the beautiful and steep hills of Allegany State Park in Salamanca. The event will include a longer distance triathlon, aquabike half iron, sprint distance triathlon, duathlon and relays in multiple events. The entire race takes place within Allegany State Park, which is renowned for its fantastic panoramic views and precipitous climbs.
Pain in the Alleganies is presented by Score This!!!, Inc., a company that is entering its 17th season of producing popular and challenging multisport competitions that are never cancelled, at least not to date. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of an epidemic of pulled hamstrings will prevent Score This!!! from the swift completion of their appointed event.
“You couldn’t ask for a better way to end your race season,” stated Rich Clark, vice president of Score This!!!, Inc. “This race venue is one of the best around. It has amazing views, especially considering the time of year. But both the bike and the run course have their share of hills. It’s not called PAIN in the Alleganies because it’s going to be easy.”
You’ve got to get your “alleganies” out of bed early to catch all that pain and excitement. The sprint and duathlon begin at 8 a.m. or sun up, whichever comes first. The triathlon and aquabike half distance start at 8:30 a.m. For more information, please visit www.score-this.com.
If you already have enough pain just getting out of bed in the morning, you will want to check out the Falling Leaves Festival in Salamanca to be held next weekend on Sept. 29–30. The Native Roots Artists Guild (NRAG) will celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of several Native American tribes as depicted in the works of Native American artists at the 35th Annual Falling Leaves Festival.
Come revel in the beauty of the autumn season in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains while viewing traditional and contemporary arts and crafts produced by these gifted artists. Visitors will enjoy modern interpretations of ancient pottery, hand carving, painting and beadwork designs that capture and illustrate the symbolism hidden in traditional native stories and legends. You can get more information including a full schedule of events by going to www.salamancachamber.org.
There’s more, like the Cattaraugus County Horse Show Series that ends the 2012 season with its Fall Finisher that runs from Friday, Sept. 21 to Sunday, Sept. 23 at noon at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds in Little Valley. All shows will be run as open shows and include year-end prizes, added money classes and weekend prizes.
You can get more information on all these and more upcoming events by visiting www.enchantedmountains.com/events.
And there it is. JAPWIP … just another perfect weekend in paradise.