From Outdoor Concerts to Family Fun to Dancing in the Streets, Ellicottville, N.Y. is the Place to Be This Summer

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Ellicottville continues to demonstrate that it is one of the most dynamic four-season resort towns on either side of the border

"The Town that Aspen Used to be Like" New York Times

With the launch of an expanded summer event line-up – featuring everything from a celebration of the arts and music, to a showcase of local restaurants, to a world-class sporting event and a children’s circus – Ellicottville continues to demonstrate that it is one of the most dynamic four-season resort towns on either side of the border. “Over the past four years we’ve tripled our summertime overnight stays and increased the number of events from four to 13,” says event organizer Brian McFadden, president of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. “When folks come here for a visit, they’re treated to an intimate resort town with a continual line-up of things to do.”

At the heart of the summer program is the Summer Festival of Arts, running from July 2-4 and headlined by legendary Oscar nominated and Grammy award winning Survivor, creators of Rocky’s Eye of the Tiger, who take to the open air stage Saturday night. The weekend kicks off with a country and western concert from Jeff Beckly on the slopes of HoliMont on Friday evening and rounds out on Sunday with two breathtaking sets from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on the slopes of Holiday Valley, featuring light classics and a tribute to Motown followed by breathtaking renditions of the 1812 Overture and Stars and Stripes Forever.

“The Summer Festival of Arts is a one-of-a-kind outdoor event where we turn the fifth largest ski resort in the east into a concert venue for three days,” notes McFadden. “There aren’t too many venues that can put an 80-piece orchestra on the side of a ski hill.”

Additional highlights of the family-oriented weekend include an Arts and Crafts show on Jefferson Street from 10 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; the annual pet parade on Washington Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday; and, the ever popular Strawberry Festival on Sunday. Presale tickets are available for $30 until June 27 and $35 after that, with concert tickets purchased separately. An inclusive weekend pass featuring two tickets to all three concerts, dinner at HoliMont and two tickets to the sponsor’s party on Saturday night is available for $235.

Two other “marquee events” to watch for this summer, says McFadden, are Taste of Ellicottville and Rock ’N Oldies Weekend. Taste of Ellicottville takes place throughout the village from noon to 4 p.m. on August 7 and 8, providing a perfect opportunity for food-lovers to sample the best that the town’s 22 fine restaurants have to offer in an enjoyable outdoor atmosphere. Rock ’N Oldies Weekend, a classic car show combined with free live entertainment from September 17-19, takes visitors back to a different era as they shake their hips and stroll through more than 200 antique and custom rods.

“Each of our diverse summer attractions is designed to take advantage of the laid back, intimate ambiance of Ellicottville,” says McFadden. “While they’re here, visitors are encouraged to take time to enjoy the scenery, as well as the many other activities available, like a visit to the Griffis Sculpture Park or a bike ride on one of our world-class mountain trails.”

Other events rounding out the summer event schedule in Ellicottville include: Women’s Weekend, June 11-13, an opportunity for just the girls to get away and try something new, whether it’s hiking, cooking classes, fly fishing, archery or yoga; Ellicottville Jazz Weekend, July 30 to August 1, a boutique experience featuring a variety of jazz performances at venues ranging from restaurants, bars and nightclubs to street-side and the Village Square; the 2010 World Bowhunting Championships, August 11-14, when thousands of sharpshooters from around the world will bring an international flair to Holiday Valley Resort as they vie for the world title and more than $200,000 in prizes; and, Children First Festival, August 14, a Rotary Club event offering a circus-themed day of fun for children of all ages followed by fireworks.

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Mark Wessel
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