Fluff up your flannels and make your weekend count. Fulfill every beer fantasy with your friends, catch up on the rhythms of fall that you miss out on at your desk, and whisk yourself away with a weekend in Ellicottville.
On Friday and Saturday, you can be one of the thousands who travel to Ellicottville for the 40th annual Ellicottville Fall Festival, one of the small village’s largest draws. Started in 1975 as a way to get people into Ellicottville early to shop for the winter ski season, the event has manifested into much more for local commerce as it now showcases more than 300 artists, crafters and vendors. With the foot traffic estimated at “tens of thousands” of attendees, this two-day event is only the preface to Ellicottville’s story.
Residents – numbering roughly 1,500 – understand the importance of their largest and oldest festival in the village. “It is, of course, an economic driver for the Ellicottville area, but the rest of Cattaraugus County benefits from the weekend as well as we fill most of the hotel rooms within 30 miles,” said Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden.
For Ellicottville native Pat Morgan, the festival is part of the joy of his hometown. “I think the neat thing about fall fest is every year you think it can’t get bigger and better, but alas – it does. Truly one of the highest character events in Western New York thanks to all the characters who make EVL what it is,” Morgan said.
Becoming a year-round destination to more than 1.5 million visitors between the snow and sunshine months, Ellicottville welcomes guests from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario and across New York State. As the crowds have grown, so has Ellicottville with improvements to the Holiday Valley golf course, a new 66,000-square-foot conference center, and Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park ranking third largest in America.
The intrinsic beauty of Fall Festival under the changing leaves is just one on the list of examples of how the village thrives. In the summer, it hosts multiple events including an annual Summer Music Festival featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and notable musical guests, a jazz weekend; the Taste of Ellicottville where the local eateries show off their delectable talents, and a Rock ’n’ Roll Weekend to keep the vibes intact. Coming for the holiday season are Christmas in Ellicottville (Nov. 27-29) and a Christmas Stroll (Dec. 5) to spread the holiday smiles.
No matter snow or sunshine, just follow the trail of “EVL” bumper stickers: they’ll lead you down Washington Street for an afternoon of local shopping, through their coveted breweries for a day of suds and to the Holiday Valley slopes for the winter adventurers.
Buffalonian Kristie Kantor has a sweet spot for Ellicottville. “We do our share of partying, but from the family front, it’s a great year-round destination that’s close to home,” she said. “Whether it’s a summer hike up past the Mountain Coaster to cool off at Spruce Lake, a challenging round of golf at Holiday Valley, or a couple games of bowling at Tim and Bonnie’s after freezing down the tubing hills, there’s always fun to find in Ellicottville.”
Ellicottville Fall Festival
Get a head start on the 40th annual event by visiting the food court along Jefferson Street starting at 6 p.m. Friday.
The full festival starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with food, vendors and artisans set up along Washington, Monroe and Jefferson streets. Carnival rides are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Washington Square parking lot, next to Coffee Culture.
Shuttle service ($3) can take riders to the Holiday Valley Main Lodge where there will be more food and entertainment. Holimont’s Exhibition Express lift runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, offering more views of the foliage.
For info, visit ellicottvilleny.com or call (800) 349-9099.