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Make Plans for a Great Summer in Ellicottville Fourth of July Weekend Filled with Crazy Fun for the Whole Family

6-28-13outdoor-cafe-dining-coverby Jann Wiswall

With a whole lotta something for everyone, summer in Ellicottville is the place to be. Fireworks, music, art, car races, a parade, anyone? Let’s get this party started!

Fireworks anyone?

Let’s get the most important feature of this holiday — the fireworks — on your calendar first. If you schedule accordingly, you can enjoy pyrotechnic displays every evening at dusk from July 3–6.

On Wednesday, July 3, pack the lawn chairs and head to Allegany State Park for its annual fireworks display at Quaker Beach. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with live music and great BBQ selections, or bring your own picnic. (www.enchantedmountains.com)

On the 4th, you can check out the fireworks display at Bradner Stadium in Olean (www.oleanny.com) or at the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo on Sommerville Valley Road (www.ellicottvillerodeo.com), where fireworks will be part of the fun every evening from July 4-6.

On Friday the 5th, there will be another fireworks display following the Demolition Derby and Monster Truck Exhibition at Little Valley Speedway.

And, on the 6th, Holiday Valley’s fireworks display begins immediately following the Gretchen Wilson performance at the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival. The fireworks are visible from all around the area, so even if you’re not heading to the concert, you can enjoy them on your own terms from many locations.

Ellicottville Summer Music Festival

Everyone knows that the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival is the biggest event of the summer in Ellicottville, where art and music are featured at Holiday Valley and throughout the village.

Friday, July 5

The festival kicks off on July 5 at 7 p.m. with an evening of comedy sponsored by Jamestown’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Stand-up comics Tammy Pescatelli and Tony Deyo will keep you rolling in the aisles (or down the hill) during their performance billed as “Mountain of Laughs, a HILL-arious Event.”

Saturday, July 6

Tons of activities are on the schedule in the Village of Ellicottville during the day on July 6, beginning with the annual Arts & Crafts Show on Jefferson Street from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

At 11 a.m., you’ll want to take a break from shopping to watch the annual Pet Parade down Washington Street. Dogs, goats — anything goes. It’s a sight to behold!

From 3:30–5 p.m., inspirational musician Will Lowry will be performing selections from his newly recorded album “Fragments” during a free concert at the Village Gazebo.

Then at 7 p.m., head over to Holiday Valley for the festival’s feature concert starring country music great Gretchen Wilson, with an opening act by the band 90 West.

Sunday, July 7

The Arts and Crafts show continues Sunday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. From noon to 3 p.m., be sure to make your way to the Gazebo for the Strawberry Festival sponsored by the Ellicottville Historical Society. This celebration features fresh strawberry shortcake.

Then at 2 p.m., you can be a judge at the Plein Air Competition, a painting competition that explains why you will see a lot of artists working on canvases in various locations around the village. The judging takes place on the lawn in front of the 1887 Building at the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets.

At 7 p.m., head back to the Valley for a performance by Creedence Clearwater Revisited and an opening act from Exit Band.

Please Note: Tickets for all performances at Holiday Valley are available through the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce at www.ellicottvilleny.com and at all Wegmans stores. 

And There’s More!

It’s hard to believe that this summer weekend can get any more exciting, but it can!

On Friday, everyone is invited to an Art in the Garden Reception at the home of artist Darlene Allen at 11 Rockwell Ave. in Ellicottville beginning at 7:30 p.m. You’ll be able to view the work of nearly two dozen area fine artists who will be on hand to discuss their art and demonstrate their techniques. On Saturday from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Allen will host the Art in the Garden Show and Sale at the same location, where each artist will have a collection of their work available for purchase.

This is also the weekend of the 25th annual Ellicottville Championship Rodeo — one of the largest rodeos in the Northeast. Located just three miles from the village, the rodeo takes place off Sommerville Valley Road and features 350 rodeo athletes competing in seven rodeo events, along with junior bull riding and kids’ stick horse races. The rodeo begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Gates open two hours early so folks can enjoy the “rodeo midway” where a rodeo kitchen will be serving up some great BBQ and other treats. (www.ellicottvillerodeo.com)

For the car-racing crowd, Little Valley Speedway is the place to be on July 4th for the Freedom Daze Late Model Special featuring the ULMS Super Late Model, the BRP CanAm Series Tour, Street Stock, E-Mods and the Bill Law Memorial Crate Late Model Race. Then July 5, you’ll want to return for the Demolition Derby and the Aftershock Monster Truck Exhibition. (www.littlevalleyspeedway.com)

And for the physical adventure types, be sure to check out Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park with its newest feature — a Climbing Forest! The park open daily from 9 a.m.–6 p.m., also challenges thrill seekers with a Mountain Coaster and an Aerial Park. (www.holidayvalley.com)

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