By Alicia Dziak
Make July your new favorite month to be in Ellicottville.
It all starts on Fourth of July weekend with the annual Summer Music Festival, July 1-3, when you can enjoy three nights of live music by headliners Rusted Root, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and 38 Special on the slopes of Holiday Valley. You’ll also want to spend some time in the Village where you’ll be treated to a pet parade, a strawberry festival, great dining and shopping.
Be sure to bring a blanket to the Village Gazebo on July 1 and 2 from 1-4 p.m. for the kick-off of the free Ellicottville Gazebo Music Series. Then come back every week for free concerts every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. from July 7 –Aug. 4. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.
How about cowboys, clowns and lots and lots of delicious food? Head to the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, June 30 through July 3. Nine exciting rodeo events, a stick horse race for the kids and a rodeo midway round out the experience. Fireworks follow all the evening shows. Visit ellicottvillerodeo.com.
The 14th annual Ellicottville Library Pro Am Golf Tournament will tee off at 11 a.m. at Holiday Valley Resort’s Double Black Diamond golf course on Tuesday, July 5. The Pro Am has benefitted the Ellicottville Memorial Library since its inception (and is the library’s only major fundraiser all year). For more information on sponsorship or to register to play, call Steven Carney at (716) 699-3909.
Camping season is here, too! Pitch a tent, drag your RV or rent a cabin at one of the many nearby campgrounds and start creating great family memories — no electronics required. Visit enchantedmountains.com/stay.
A great place for camping is Allegany State Park (ASP), New York’s largest state park. ASP offers hundreds of places to stay, ranging from tent sites and primitive, non-electric cabins to full-service cottages with private bathrooms. Head to reserveamerica.com and take your pick.
ASP also boasts miles of hiking trails, ranging from very easy to very difficult. Check out giant rock formations at Thunder Rocks, crawl inside them at the Bear Caves, stand with one foot in New York and one in Pennsylvania on Black Snake Mountain, or trek part of the North Country Trail all inside the 65,000-acre park.
ASP offers daily pro-gramming all summer long. Learn about edible insects, history of the park, fireflies, nature painting and more. The schedule changes weekly; grab a copy in either registration building or check out its Facebook page.
Want to catch a movie under the stars? You can do that at ASP too! Friday night movies are featured at the Quaker Amphitheater, and new this year, movies will also be featured several nights a week on a new screen at Red House Lake and at the Quaker General Store.
The two ASP beaches open this weekend. Check out the brand new Quaker Bathhouse, complete with meeting space and a snack bar, or head to Red House for fun in the sun, where you can also rent a canoe, kayak, SUP and more at the Boathouse. Or you can choose to rent a cruiser bike and take the paved path around the lake for some exercise.
If you like swimming pools, Holiday Valley has a splash-tastic three-pool complex with a toddler pool with mini waterfalls, lap pool and activity pool with slide and diving board. For more info, visit holidayvalley.com.
Summer also means adventure time. Take a trip to Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley, where you can climb trees in the Climbing Forest, soar down the mountain on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster, and navigate ziplines, ladders and swinging bridges at the Aerial Park. For more info, visit holidayvalley.com/skyhigh.
If sitting back and relaxing with some live music is your ideal summer evening, you’re in luck.
On July 22, pack your camp chair and bring your friends to ASP’s Quaker Beach for an evening of free live music and a chicken BBQ at the annual Rock the Park celebration. Don’t miss your chance to stop by the farmer’s market and check out what various local businesses have to offer. Entertainment includes Artist in Residence, Sean Patrick Mcgraw from 6 to 7 p.m. and a headlining act from The Roadhouse Rebels from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit facebook.com/alleganystatepark .
Ellicottville’s annual Jazz & Blues Weekend is July 30-31. Wander through the village and choose from a variety of Jazz and Blues performances at restaurants, bars & nightclubs, as well as at the outdoor Monroe Street stage. A preliminary schedule of bands and locations is available at ellicottvilleny.com.
The days are long, the nights are lit and July is going to be HOT! Grab a cold drink and enjoy!