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16 Great Winter Adventures: A Month of Slopeside, Village and Park Activities

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By Eva Potter

When you come to Ellicottville in the winter, you’re always guaranteed a good time, whether you’re on the slopes, enjoying our quaint village or exploring the countryside and nearby state park. Let’s take a look at what the next 30 days in Ellicottville have in store for you.

Holiday Valley and HoliMont

January is Learn a Snowsport Month. Bring your family and friends and take advantage of discounted Learn to Ski or Ride packages at Holiday Valley any day and at HoliMont weekdays.

This Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m., join the crowd as the Valley celebrates the Grand Opening of the Burton Riglet Park, a specialized teaching area for children 3–5 years old, located at the Outpost at the base of School Haus East adjacent to the Creekside Lodge.

It will be hard to miss the distinct rumbling sound of Harley-Davidson motorcycles at the Harley-Day Valley event Jan. 25, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., on the second floor of the Holiday Valley Lodge. The day will be filled with giveaways, food specials, music by The Strangers and more. “Test drive” the Jumpstart, a real Harley simulator complete with shifting gears and speeds up to 50 mph.

On Jan. 26, join the Line Skis Traveling Circus (Andy Parry, Ian Compton and friends) to shred some slopes at the Valley. All freeriders are welcome. At 3 p.m., head to the City Garage Ski Shop to hang out with the crew for a little after-party.

Clinics, Races and Fundraisers 

The HoliMont Ski Patrol will hold their Free Your Heel Telemark Clinic on Feb. 1–2. Patrollers and non-patrollers are welcome to enjoy two days of lessons, camaraderie and great food. Contact Dave Walker at dcamwalker@aol.com for details.

The following weekend, the HoliMont Snowsports School’s Adaptive Program hosts the annual Phoenix “Rise to the Challenge Race” and Awareness Day on Feb. 8, which attracts adaptive competitors of all ages to enjoy a day of spirited competition. The event is open to the public and begins in the morning, with an awards ceremony mid-afternoon.

Aspire of WNY, a non-profit organization that provides support programs and services to children and adults with disabilities, is holding their inaugural Ski the Valley event on the slopes of Holiday Valley and at the HV Tubing Park on Feb. 9, noon–6 p.m. Adaptive ski lessons, discounted tubing and lift tickets, as well as a sumptuous Italian banquet, are in store for participants. More info at www.aspirewny.org.

Lisa Densmore, widely acclaimed coach, instructor and ski racer, is coming back to teach her Your Turn Women’s Ski Clinic at the Valley Feb. 10–11. It’s a fun, social opportunity for intermediate to advanced-level women skiers to take their skiing to the next level.

The sixth annual Boarding for Breast Cancer board-a-thon fundraiser at Holiday Valley is coming up Feb. 15. Fun activities are all geared toward breast cancer education and awareness including on-slope clinics, demos, a silent auction and awards reception party.

Parks and Recreation

Take a Moonlight Snowshoe Tour at Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto on Feb. 15 and view the park’s giant, magically lit sculptures. The $50 cost includes snowshoes, live music, chili and beer! Make reservations by calling (716) 667-2808.

Nearby Allegany State Park hosts the Feb. 16 Art Roscoe Loppet XC Ski Race at the park’s Summit Ski Area. Choose from 6K, 13K and 22K courses run in a classic ski format. More at www.heartrateup.com.

The AMSOIL Championship Snocross returns to the Salamanca Allegany Casino on Feb. 7–8, with action-packed fun as racers do high speed laps through crazy turns and over manmade jumps sending the sleds more than 100 feet in the air. Tickets and details at www.isocracing.com.

The Snowsnake Competition, a traditional Native American event, will be held in Salamanca Jan. 25–26. Competitors throw a snowsnake (6-foot long, specially prepared wooden stick) as far as they can along a slick, quarter-mile snow track.

Assorted Amusements

Let’s not forget Ellicottville’s vast selection of great shops offering signature Ellicottville wear, chic winter ensembles, interesting gifts, jewelry, high-tech snowsports gear, a variety of holiday trinkets, and gourmet foods, select wines and craft beers, to mention a few. The smorgasbord of dining options will please the pizza eater to the escargot lover. With bands like Maria Aurigema, Leon & The Forklifts, The Party Squad, Fred and Tuck, and Joe Wagner & Friends, your evenings will be filled with great live music all night long.

Come for a day, a weekend or a week — you’ll never be bored in Ellicottville!

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