Fall Festival 2021 is back and it’s going to be your favorite Fall event!! Remember, we are not out of the woods yet, be smart be safe and help keep us all healthy.
This week marks the beginning of fall, an arrival that has locals and visitors alike anticipating the beautiful changing landscape of Cattaraugus County. This year, the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome everyone back to Fall Festival which, for many, is just as much a part of their annual autumn traditions as picking out pumpkins and planting mums! However, there is more than just Fall Festival weekend to anticipate, as the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce and Holiday Valley have plenty of fun planned throughout the month of October.
The fun kicks off during the second weekend of October (9th and 10th), with the return of Fall Festival. While last year’s event was canceled altogether due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chamber Executive Director Brian McFadden is pleased to report that it’s back, in a scaled-down, more family-friendly version. “This year, we have about 20% fewer vendors, and that’s on purpose in order for them to spread out and create more room for people to walk around,” he explained. “There will not be a carnival this year, and parking has moved to the large empty lot on Jefferson Street past the Catholic church known as the Signore property.”
In place of the carnival, the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative will be using the space for a kid/family-friendly fundraiser. Formerly known as the P.U.N.T. (Perseverance, Understanding, Need and Teamwork) Foundation, the public charity was founded in 2004 by former Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman. P.U.N.T. has become a heavily relied upon source of assistance for families battling pediatric cancer, and McFadden is excited to include P.U.N.T. in this year’s festival. In addition to serving families in western New York, P.U.N.T. also has a local connection in Madison Szpaicher, who is the organization’s event coordinator. More specifics about the fundraiser will be shared as Fall Festival nears.
The health department will be set up with a vaccine clinic from 11:00am-3:00pm on Saturday near Five Star Bank and Katy’s Café. “We’re excited to be back,” said McFadden, “but it’s important for us to remind people to be safe: Remember, we are not out of the woods yet; be smart, be safe, and help keep us all healthy. That is our theme this year.”
As in recent years, the chamber is looking out for the health and safety of Fall Festival’s younger visitors by ensuring passengers on charter buses arriving to and leaving from Ellicottville are of legal drinking age. McFadden explained, “We work very closely with bus charter companies to make sure they understand that they have serious consequences to face for underage drinking. There will be a designated bus stop with members of the Sheriff’s department checking for underage drinking or unruly passengers before they get off the busses.”