By Eva Potter
Ellicottville knows how to throw a fantastic festival and this summer and fall are full of family-friendly events. Whether you come to listen to live music, admire and collect great art and crafts, taste your way through the village, wander around a car show or bring the family for a day of exploration, Ellicottville’s festivals should be on your mild-weather bucket list.
Summer Music Festival, July 3–5
This popular summer event at Holiday Valley is eagerly anticipated each year and brings national acts to the outdoor stage for a three-day, multi-genre music festival. The weekend kicks off July 3 with a Mountaintop Party at Holiday Valley. Ride the chairlift to the top and enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a fabulous view. The party then moves to the Main Lodge for Monte Carlo night, where you can vie for impressive prizes.
On July 4, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will delight all ages with their performance of well-known tunes from the “Star Wars” movies. You’ll really feel part of the show as it branches out into the audience when members of the Imperial Army and their axis friends “battle” the Rebel Alliance to conquer the hill for the emperor. You’ll also be treated to some zippy dance tunes to get your feet moving. The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks show synchronized to your favorite patriotic tunes.
Blood, Sweat and Tears takes the stage on July 5 for the weekend finale. This Grammy Award-winning band headed by American Idol runner-up Bo Bice, will take you back with hits like “Spinning Wheel” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” Buffalo’s Caitlin Koch will warm up the crowd with her original music.
Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs. The venue is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. Get tickets at www.ellicottvilleny.com. Children 12 and under enter for free. And remember to check out the happenings in the village that weekend, including the pet parade, arts and crafts show, and strawberry festival, not to mention the shopping, dining and nightly live music.
Americana Folk Art Fair, July 18–19
This is a great event for checking out a lot of talented, regional artists producing and selling artwork and crafts. Enjoy live music at the Village Gazebo, as well as a cool folk art auction. It’s free and great for a day of family fun. For more information, call (716) 378- 0916.
Jazz and Blues Weekend, July 24–26
There’s nothing like jazz and the blues on a warm summer weekend, and this year’s lineup will soothe you with cool tunes from some of the region’s finest acts. Spend the weekend following your favorite regional jazz and blues acts like the B. D. Lenz Trio, and be sure to catch a couple new ones, too. The street stage, outdoor patios and indoor nightclubs will offer a variety of performers. Head to the village and stroll the sidewalks to find your favorite venue, singers and bands. More at www.ellicottvilleny.com.
Taste of Ellicottville,
Dig out your loose and comfy clothes and head to the village for a foodie festival like no other. Ellicottville’s great restaurants and talented chefs will be set up on the sidewalks serving their specialties café style from noon–4 p.m. both days. Sample delicious appetizers, entrees, drinks and desserts. Tickets are only $1 each and items are priced at $1–$4. More details to come at www.ellicottvilleny.com.
Rock N’ Roll Weekend, Sept. 18–20
This rockin’ weekend kicks off on Friday night with live acts in many establishments. Last year’s performers included the Mick Hayes Band, the Lustre Kings and the Flat Tops. Even “Elvis” was spotted. Car buffs can take in the annual Classic Car Show on Sept. 20, noon–5 p.m., when cars, trucks and rods will be on display according to class. A panel of experienced car enthusiasts will present awards in each class. More details coming soon at www.ellicottvilleny.com.
This action-packed weekend draws thousands to Ellicottville each year for very good reason! To mention just a few: brilliant fall foliage, ski sales, chairlift rides, hoppin’ nightlife, carnival food, Sky High Aerial Park, the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster, art and craft vendors, mountain bike and 5K races, shopping and more will show you why this is one of Western New York’s most popular festivals of the year.