To say that the Ellicottville Mardi Gras Parade was a hit would be an understatement, judging from all of the reactions. Floats and walkers alike had an enthusiastic crowd lining the streets Saturday night in a gesture to bring an end to the Ellicottville Winter season and usher in the start of the Green Season.
“This parade was a success because of the dedication of a great team that really rallied time and effort,” Barb Pump, Events and Membership Manager for the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, said.
With 11 floats, five walking groups, and a drum ensemble, the 24th annual parade gave a brief tour through many of the great businesses and organizations. According to Deb Rapp, the committee representative in charge of judging, the decision on winners was one of the hardest ever.
“The parade judges had a very difficult time selecting the top three entries for First, Second, and Third place winners,” Rapp said. “A huge thank you to every single person who contributed their time and creativity to the floats and walking entries this year- each one was a marvel of ingenuity and tremendous effort. They made the parade such a hit!”
This year’s winners were:
GRAND PRIZE – Holimont “Their float represented the parade theme beautifully with their scene of an antique snow cat machine, an old T-Bar cable and a decorated tree holding the other end of the T-Bar cable on a snowy slope, all lit up,” Rapp said. “Their whole float- a fabulously fun creation.”
Second – The Ellicottville Rotary Club “The Rotary Club of Ellicottville presented their crowd-pleasing Rotary Wagon which hosted a giant, black smoke-snorting horse with a rotating head, pulled by a tractor,” Rapp said.
Third – Holiday Valley Rangers “Sitting on their handmade white snowy mountain depicting many of the activities at the Snowsports Program at Holiday Valley, all of the enthusiastic kids wore matching royal blue and gold outfits with glow necklaces,” she said. “The Rangers were having as much fun as the crowds watching them, and their Mardi Gras spirit won over the judges for a tough decision on the third place recognition.”
This year’s Grand Prize winners will receive a rotating trophy, made by Vicki Brown. That trophy will reside with the 2016 winners until just before next year’s parade. It will then travel to the 2017 winner. Second Place will receive the “Be a Brewer for a Day” from the Ellicottville Brewing Company. Third place will receive a tour of the Sugartown Alpaca Farm. Winners can contact the Chamber at 699-5046 to find out how to claim their prizes.
Rapp said two other groups received honorable mention form the judging committee. Ellicottville Ski Club and the Cattaraugus County Meals on Wheels did a great job on their entries as well.
“I would like to thank Carol Fisher, committee chair; Kristen Sciara and Katelyn Mueller of Holiday Valley, Sean Lowes of the City Garage; Cathleen and Melanie Pritchard of TEAM VP ERA, Betsy Peyser from Betsy’s Consignments, Kim Reading of Mud Sweat and Gears, Liz Boberg at AMERI-CAN, Spencer Murray at Villaggio, Peter Kreinheder and Beth Harvey from Ellicottville Brewing Company, and Mat McCoy of Colonial Radio Group,” Pump said. “I would be remiss if I did not include the Weekend royalty, Dana Hall and Darlene Allen. I must also thank Grand Marshall, Edna Northrup, and MJ Brown for making that hat on Edna’s head. Another thank you goes out to Watson’s for their donation of chocolate coins for the Bacchus Ball.
“We also need to take the time to thank the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol and Holimont Safety Patrol for their great volunteers,” Pump added. “A big thank you must also go out to the fire and police department for their help.”
This year’s judges were Tricia and Brian Naber of Ellicottville, Dale and Joan Ludwick of Ellicottville, and Karen MacConkey of Rochester.