By Deb Everts
Chase away the winter blues and share some good times with family and friends at many winter events offered in the village, as well as at Holiday Valley and HoliMont ski resorts.
Start the new year out by participating in Holiday Valley’s New Year’s Eve celebration that begins Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. and continues through Jan. 1 at 1 a.m. Marketing Director Jane Eshbaugh said it will be a family-friendly party on the main floor of the lodge with a DJ.
Afterward, guests will have the perfect view of the Groomer Parade and the Torchlight Parade on Cindy’s Run at 11:15 p.m. Fireworks will follow at 11:45 p.m., with the Grand Finale at midnight.
January is Learn a Snowsport Month and half-priced packages will be offered all month long. Eshbaugh said the focus this year is the National Learn to Ski or Snowboard Day Celebration, Jan. 11. It’s a great time to introduce a friend or family member to skiing and riding.
Other events taking place in January include New York State Ski and Stay Weekend, Jan. 11-12; Discover NY Ski Day, Jan. 17; and Your Turn Women’s Ski Clinic, Jan. 24-25.
Mountain Ski Fest, scheduled for Feb. 8, is a day of skiing, riding, food, drink and good fun. According to Eshbaugh, the event is not new — just the name.
“It was called Mountain Man Day last year and was geared more towards men but, this year, the event is open to anybody,” she said. “It’s a day when we encourage people to come down and bring their friends, coworkers, or maybe some corporate guests to kind of network.”
The annual Penguin Paddle will be held Feb. 23 when people of all ages will don garbage bags and a helmet, then slip down the slope of Yodler like penguins. The event benefits Holiday Valley’s Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program.
Holiday Valley Resort is located at 6557 Holiday Valley Road. To find out more, call (716) 699-2345 or visit online at holidayvalley.com.
HOLIMONT SKI Resort invites the public to their Snowshoe Social on Jan. 12, and the first annual Frosty CX Fat Bike Race & Party, Feb. 23. Marketing Director Greg Culver said anybody can participate in the Snowshoe Social that is a guided trip up to the Lean-To where participants can enjoy a few beverages and snacks, as well as check out the terrain at the top of the hill.
According to Culver, HoliMont has a new, non-skiing event called “Frosty CX,” a fat bike race coming Feb. 23. He said a fat bike is a mountain bike with humungous tires that are made for snow. The event is open to everyone and is already a buzz among the biking community. Medals and prizes will be awarded. Register online at bikereg.com.
“We are going to have a groomed snow course similar to our cyclocross course, but it will be for fat bikes. There will be three divisions: Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s,” he said. “It’ll be easy and a spectacle to watch. People will be able to see the whole race because it’ll be held at the bottom of Sunset area.”
HoliMont Ski Area is located at 6921 Route 242. For information on public skiing, events and rates, visit online at holimont.com or call (716) 699-2320.
THE ELLICOTTVILLE Chamber of Commerce has several events planned for the winter months. Executive Director Brian McFadden said they are kicking off 2019 with the Winter Blues Weekend. From Jan. 18-20, live performances will take place at various venues and establishments throughout the village and Holiday Valley.
Back again for the second year is Ellicottville’s newest music festival, the Winter Music Jam, that will take place Feb. 22-23 at many favorite venues throughout the Village and at Holiday Valley. McFadden said approximately 16 different acts are expected to perform over the weekend offering all different kinds of music for people’s listening pleasure, as opposed to Blues and Jazz.
“It’s the weekend after Presidents’ weekend, which is huge in Ellicottville and a sellout,” he said. “Last year, we built this new event for the weekend after which is typically a slower weekend. It turned out to be a success — almost equal to President’s Weekend.”
McFadden said all the venues will have music that weekend but, as a reminder, there’s always lots of great live entertainment in Ellicottville.
Ellicottville’s last event of the ski season is the Winter Carnival featuring the Mardi Gras Parade, March 8-10. For more information on this and all events, check the chamber’s website at ellicottvilleny.com or call 699-5046.