ELLICOTTVILLE – Once again, Ellicottville is preparing for another year of the annual Fall Fest tradition.
This year’s event, encompassing the same area as in years past, acts as a bit of a preview of the coming ski season, as friends from Canada as well as those from various parts of the United States start to converge on this little village in the middle of Cattaraugus County.
With about 250 vendors, ranging from food and crafts to items for the ski slopes, the streets of Ellicottville will be packed throughout the weekend. Festivities will begin Friday.
The Sky High Adventure Park at the Tannenbaum Lodge at Holiday Valley will open at 9 a.m. Friday.
At 11 a.m., the mountain coaster will start runs for those brave enough to cruise the mountainside. Both parks will close at 6 p.m.
From noon until 7 p.m., the Mountain Shop Tent Sale will be going on, offering those items for the slopes, at the Resort Service Plaza Deck. At 4 p.m., the Ski Swap Sale and Check In will be going on until 8 p.m. at the Creekside Lodge.
The food court will kick off the festival for a 6 p.m. opening, serving early birds on Jefferson Street until 10 p.m.
Saturday, the Jefferson Street food court will open at 10 a.m. On Washington Street, visitors will be able to browse artists’ work, take a look at some crafts and look through T shirts. All items will be available for sale. The Visitor Center and Monroe Street will be alive with a curb sale. At 11 a.m., Washington Square will open its children’s rides.
On the hill at Holiday Valley, from 9 a.m. until noon, at Creekside, Ski Swap check in continues. The aerial park at Sky High will also open at that time. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Junior Ski Team and snowboard swap will take place at Creekside Lodge.
While that is happening, the Mountain Shop/High Performance swap will take place at the Resort Services Plaza Deck.
After an 8 a.m. registration, a 5K race is expected to begin at 10 a.m. at the Main Lodge. At noon, lift rides on the Mardi Gras Xpress, with a $2 charge, will take riders to a mountaintop cookout until 4 p.m.
During that period, “The Tommy Z Band” will perform at the top of Mardi Gras. Down below, at 3:30, “Strangers” will play at the Cabana Bar until 7:30.
Sunday’s schedule is the same as Saturday’s, except for the third annual Ellicottville Star competition, sponsored by Ed Shults Auto Group. The competition will take place at the Village Gazebo. The competition, patterned on the hit television show of a similar name, will go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At Holiday Valley, the day looks about the same with the replacement of a mountain bike race starting from the Mountain Sports Center at 10 a.m. The lift will take visitors to the top of Mardi Gras once again, but this time, “10 Delaware” will perform on top of the mountain and “Bleeding Hearts” will be at the Cabana Bar.
On Monday, the Columbus Day holiday, events will start to wind down as businesses start to switch to full winter season. There will be chair lift rides for $5 on the Spruce Lake lift.
During the entire weekend a $3 shuttle service will take people from the village to the Inn at Holiday Valley and Resort Services.
The shuttle will run from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A taxi service is also available at 375-TAXI.