By Colleen Mahoney
The Ellicottville Parks Program is returning for another summer, beginning July 6. The program, which runs through Aug. 14, is open to all children in the area, according to program director Tracy Stokes, who also serves as deputy clerk of the Town of Ellicottville.
The summer program includes various activities for children, from arts and crafts to magic shows and library time twice a week. A calendar of events has been prepared, though Stokes said participants are free to do whatever they choose.
“We’ll have a craft of the day, but [the children] can play tag, go on the playground or do the craft,” Stokes said.
Children will also have the opportunity to play basketball or soccer. Fridays are field trip days. So far, visits to Allegany State Park, Tim and Bonnie’s Pizza and Bowling Alley and Midway Park are scheduled.
This year’s program will not offer swimming lessons due to a lack of interested instructors, Stokes said, but children will still get time to swim. Monday and Wednesday, weather permitting, will be pool days at Holiday Valley. The Parks Program will also be using the Town Center this year on rainy days. Board games, crafts and movies will be some of the activities if the weather moves the program inside.
This summer is Stokes’ first as director, but she is no stranger to the program.
“I went to it as a kid and worked it as a teenager,” she said. “My parents went to it, too, so it’s been around for quite a while.”
More than 60 children have already signed up for the program, and Stokes said she has gotten phone calls for participants who’d like to start later in the summer.
The Ellicottville Parks Program runs from July 6 to Aug. 14, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. It’s open to all children, who have gone through the first grade, and they can go as often as they would like. There is no fee for the program, though a small fee will be collected for field trips.
“This is a great program,” Stokes said. “And it’s a great way for kids to spend their summer, especially if their parents have to work.”
For more information on the Ellicottville Parks Program, or to sign up, call Stokes at (716) 699-2100.