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Town of Little Valley to Celebrate Bicentennial

By Deb Everts

The town of Little Valley is celebrating its 200th anniversary with some old-fashioned fun mixed with education about the town’s history.

The public is invited to the bicentennial celebration, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25 and Sunday, Aug. 26.

Organizer Jillian Koch said 17 crafters and vendors are scheduled to be set up from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bicentennial Park on the corner of Erie and 8th streets. She said they range from food vendors and clothing to handmade items and maple syrup — a little bit of everything. And, Ellicottville Brewing Company will be introducing a commemorative Vienna Ale “1818” for the celebration.

Koch said Case Cutlery has arranged for an antique knife appraiser from Virginia to be at the event, so she encourages people to bring their antique Case, Kinfolk or Cattaraugus cutlery to be appraised.

Local bands and solo acts are scheduled to perform intermittent, live music in the Park Gazebo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. At 9 p.m. that night, more bands will continue at Hughes Hotel Bar & Restaurant and Bear Brick Bar & Restaurant.

The United Methodist Church will host a pancake breakfast on Saturday at 9 a.m. and, afterward, the Congregational Church will host a quilt show and have historical memorabilia on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Linda McCubbin, director of the Memorial Library of Little Valley, said the library will have a hot dog stand and a book sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. She said the Cattaraugus County Museum has lent historical memorabilia that will be on display at the library until Sept. 30. Among the memorabilia is an original poster from 1899 advertising the Cattaraugus County Fair when Teddy Roosevelt, then governor of New York, attended the fair and delivered the annual address to local residents.

“Historical readings began at the library in May and will continue to the end of the year,” she said. “On (Friday) Aug. 24 at 7 p.m., Brad Lockwood will be speaking on the knife industry in Little Valley.”

To pay tribute to the trolley system that once ran through the village, a free tour via trolley will be available from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Narrated by Brad Lockwood, local author and historical enthusiast, the tour will travel throughout the village to showcase the Town of Little Valley’s history. Pick up and drop off location will be at Park Place.

The Alumni Room at the former building of Little Valley Central School on Rock City Street will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

An open house will be held at the Little Valley Fire Department from noon to 6 p.m. with more historical pictures on display. Also on Saturday, the fire department will host a Pulled Pork Dinner at 6 p.m. and a Comedy Night with professional stand-up comics at 7 p.m., with a fee for each.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.) will host the 33rd annual Reunion of Descendants of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry on the grounds of the Memorial and Historical Building at the corner of Court and Seventh streets. The reunion event will include the unveiling of a miniature replica of the regiment’s Gettysburg monument.

The celebration continues Sunday beginning with a 10:30 a.m. community service held by Grace Baptist Church in the gazebo. Starting at noon, the Bear Brick Bar & Restaurant will offer a chicken barbecue. At 1 p.m., people can have dessert at the Ice Cream Social hosted by Grace Baptist Church on the corner of 4th and Rock City streets.

The bicentennial parade kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday with Grand Marshall Lester Bishop. McCubbin said the parade will assemble at the fairgrounds at 2:30 p.m. and proceed down Court Street to Main Street, where it will take a left and go to Railroad Avenue to 3rd Street, then to the fire hall.

The bicentennial weekend will end Sunday with a closing ceremony at the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department at 3:30 p.m. when State Senator Catharine M. Young (R-Olean) is scheduled to present the Town of Little Valley with a proclamation to commemorate its bicentennial.

Koch said the Bicentennial Committee is very excited to host this event. They hope area residents will be able to attend and enjoy the showcasing of the town’s history.

“We would like to thank the community and our local businesses for their support and participation in this event. I feel that having the community involved in the planning phase we are able to have a little something for everyone,” she said. “We are all looking forward to this event and hope our residents find it interesting and entertaining.”

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