August 05, 2014

Ellicottville NY Fall Festival 2014 - Prost to the Oktoberfest!

Celebrate the fabulous tastes, colors and sounds of fall at the 2014 Ellicottville, NY Fall Festival. The annual event, also known as the Oktoberfest, takes place on October 10, 11, and 12 2014. It is the oldest and largest Festival in Ellicottville and for good reason; the fall color is at its peak. Over 10,000 annual festival goers make for a fun weekend of unique foods, Arts show, Crafts show, curb market, carnival rides, live entertainment, mountain bike race, a 5K, chair lift rides and much more. And what would and  Oktoberfest festival be without plenty of good beer and wine; which are made in town at the Ellicottville Brewing Company, John Harvards Brewhouse and the Ellicottville Winery. In addition to all of the events, many of the local restaurants and shops have sales and special items throughout the weekend. It is well worth the trip with all of the activity and fun planned over the 2014 Ellicottville Oktoberfest weekend.

Oktoberfest is an annual German fall festival that is usually celebrated the 3rd or 4th weekend in September. The Oktoberfest tradition began in 1810 celebrating the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich, Germany were invited to join in the five days of festivities celebrating the marriage, which were held on the fields in front of the city gates. A hours race was the main event of this original Oktoberfest. Since its Bavarian origins in 1810, the Oktoberfest has changed substantially. The horse races were last held in 1960, and the agricultural show is put on only every four years. The Oktoberfest event still takes place on the "Theresienwiese" ("Theresa's meadow"), which was named after the new bride; to the locals, it's simply known as "Wies'n". During the two weeks before the first Sunday in October, these fairgrounds are transformed into a city of beer tents, amusements, rides, performers, and booths of vendors peddling traditional foods and traditional confections. The mayor of Munich opens the festivities at noon on the first day of the fair when he drives the wooden tap into a barrel of beer and proclaims O'zapft is! ("It's tapped!"). The festival was moved from the Original October  marriage celebration for better weather to celebrate in the last two weeks of September.

Oktoberfest Celebration at a HB House
Traditions in the Oktoberfest festival include the Costume and Riflemen's Procession on the first Sunday of the festival, in which some 7000 performers combined in groups with traditional costumes and historical uniforms, marching bands, riflemen, thoroughbred horses and other livestock, old-fashioned carriages, and numerous floats -- parade through the streets of Munich's city center showcasing the diversity of local, regional, and national customs. The second Sunday of the Oktoberfest features an open-air big band concert involving approximately 400 musicians who comprise all of the Oktoberfest bands. Oktoberfest is celebrated around the world and many still have the keg tapping, traditional dances, music, food, beer, wine, schnapps so that family and friends can celebrate the fall. You won't see the keg tapping, traditional dance, lederhosen or dyrndls; but you will see great music, food, beer, wine and a fall celebration with family and friends.

When attending the 2014 Ellicottville Oktoberfest, there are a few items on the must do list if this is your first time. We recommend the following:
  1. Take a chair lift ride up to the top of the mountain on the ski lift to see the fall color, enjoy a snack and listen to the entertainment.
  2. For all skiers, check out the ski swap and curbside market. There are some great deals.
  3. For shoppers, check out the Art show, Craft show and curbside market. There are some fabulous artists and entrepreneurs in the region that have some great work and ideas.
  4. For the foodies, check out some of the local restaurants. We recommend Kabob Kafe, Dina's, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Tips up and the Gin Mill. All of the restaurants in town area excellent and cater to different palates.
  5. For the kids, check out the carnival rides, Pumpkinville and the chair lift ride. Carnival rides ... say no more. Pumpkinville has tractor rides, shops, a corn cannon, fresh cider, homemade maple ice cream, fresh pumpkin doughnuts and a fantastic BBQ pit.
  6. Pick up a pumpkin or two. If you are looking for pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and other fall decor, check out Hall's produce and Pumpkinville.
  7. Plan ahead. Make reservations for lodging, find parking lots a little ways out of town. Holiday Valley has parking available just south of town that is a short walk away (a little more than 1 mile). They may have shuttles available. Parking in downtown Ellicottville is limited and can be hard to find.

There are taverns and pubs that serve fabulous local beer and wine as well as your regional favorites. Ellicottville has 2 micro breweries in town, the Ellicottville Brewing Company and John Harvards Brewhouse. The Winery of Ellicottville is also downtown and has been making fabulous wines since 2010 in this location. Some great regional beers are sold in the Tops market, E'ville Spirts and other retailers, which include Southern Tier Brewery (Lakewood, NY) , Great Lakes Brewery (Cleveland, Ohio), Saranac (Saranac, NY) among others. For the beer drinkers, check out the pumpkin ales and the Oktoberfest beers. Southern Tier makes the Pumpking beer, Saranac has a Pumkin Ale and Great Lakes has a flavorful Oktoberfest.
The Winery of Ellicottville has a tasting room to sample all of their wines. They make fabulous wines and are a great addition to Ellicottville. We recommend these white wines: Traminette, Pino Grigio and the Reisling. If you like sweet wines, the Snow Fox is great. For the red wines, we recommend the Syrah and Pinot Noir. Each of their wines are balanced and have great flavors to meet your tastes.


There are activities at the festival for all ages. From downtown Ellicottville to Holiday Valley Resort to around the county; you would be hard pressed to not find something fun to do. A full schedule will be available closer to the event at the Holiday Valley Resort website of the Village of Ellicottville's website. The following is a list of activities at the festival based on the 2013 schedule and updated reports from event organizers and venues. Activities and times may be subject to change and will be updated as they are available:

Holiday Valley Resort
Take a trip to Holiday Valley resort and check out their Mountain Coaster, Sky High Adventure Park or take a chairlift ride up the Mardi Gras ski lift to see the hills of Ellicottville ablaze with fall color. There will also be some great sale items in their tent sale along with a ski swap. For those looking for some adventure, there will be a 5K run and a mountain bike race.
Chair lift ride
The ride up the Mardi Gras chair lift is just $2 (money is donated to various causes around Ellicottville) from noon to 4 PM both Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. At the top of Mardi Gras you can enjoy live music, delicious hot dogs or sausages, cold beer and cider and the spectacular view overlooking the valley full of the fall color. Music will be playing at the base area of the resort and at the Cabana bar as well.
5K Run
The 5K Running Race starts at 10 AM on Saturday October 11, 2014, with registration at 8:00 AM at the New Holiday Valley Lodge (look for signs). The course starts down Holiday Valley Road to 219 south, loops around the Ellicottville school and back to Holiday Valley. Beware of the monster hill at the finish! A fun post-race party and awards ceremony will be at the Mountain Sports Center. The party also includes a lunch, amazing door prizes and more. This race celebrates the amazing views during the most beautiful time of year as your run! Pre-register via the links below (on-line or mail-in entry form) or come down on race-day to register. T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 300 participants. The race will be run Rain or shine. For more information on the 5K run go to

Mountain Bike Race
The Mountain Bike Race starts at 10 AM on Sunday October 12, 2014, with registration at 9:00 AM at the Holiday Valley Resort Mountain Sports Training Center. The 4 mile route goes up the work road to the top of Holiday Valley then the singletrack begins across the top of the resort and down through the woods. The climb up definitely needs a low gear. It is a very challenging course and you can choose from 4 different divisions which range from 1 to 4 laps. The entrace fee is $20 for pre-regestration or on the day of the race. For more information on the race go to

Tent Sale
The "Bargains Beyond Belief" Mountain Shop Tent Sale is located on the Holiday Valley Resort plaza, slopeside of the Clubhouse Chalet, on your way to the chairlift rides. Sale hours are Friday 4 PM to 8 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 9 AM to 3 PM. Check out the great deals! There will be golf items and more!

Ski Swap
The Ski Swap benefits the Holiday Valley Race, Freestyle and Snowboard Teams. You're encouraged to bring in your old equipment or gently used clothing and helmets and exchange for new or used.The Swap takes place on October 5, 6 and 7 at the Creekside Lodge. Sale Hours are: Friday 4 – 8 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 2 PM.
If you would like to sell items, the resort requests that you please drop them off on Friday from 4 – 8 PM or Saturday from 9 – 12 AM. You will have to pick up any unsold items on Sunday from 3-5 PM, otherwise they will be discarded. For more information on the swap call Mike Nenno at 716-378-1000 or email

Mountain top cookout
There will be a mountain top cookout at the top of the Mardi-Gras ski lift, with live bands, food and beverages. The band schedule will be available closer to the weekend. The cookout will be from Noon until 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Sky High Adventure Park

Sky High Adventure Park and Mountain Coaster
The Aerial park and mountain coaster will be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the thrill seakers. The aerial adventure park requires reserverations and has three skill levels! Check out the bridges, crosswalks, zip lines in the trees above Holiday Valley Resort. The Mountain Coaster flys down the hills at the resort. The coaster is controlled by the user with a hand brake.

Downtown Ellicottville*

Winery of Ellicottville
Downtown Ellicottville will be full of action. The street will be full of tents, carnival rides, arts and crafts shows and people. Take a stroll around town and enjoy the festival. All of the unique shops, restaurants and bistros will be open as well. Many of the pubs, restaurants bistros will have live music.
Food Court
The Food court will be open on Friday from 6 pm to 12 am and Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm, with a full variety of foods and tastes of the season.

Craft Show
The craft show and sale will be Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm on Jefferson street. Check out some of the local talent at the craft show. There will be some great items for sale from local and regional crafters.
Art Show
Western New York is home to many talented artists and sculptors. The art show also be on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm on Washington and Jefferson streets. The art is for view and the artist will have items for sale. Support the local artist and stop by the show.
Curbside Market
The curbside market is on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm by the visitors center and Monroe street. There are a large number of vendors with some great sale items. Vendors are from shops and business from around the count Stroll through the tents and find some great deals.
Carnival Rides
The Carnival rides will be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Check out all of the fun! There will be rides for kids of all ages. All of your favorite rides and games including the ferris wheel, spinning rides and more.

Live Music
There will be live music all weekend at many of the pubs and restaurants in town, including The Gin Mill, Balloon's Restaurant, Ellicottville Brewery, Holiday Valley Resort and more. At the top of top of the Mardi Gras chair lift there will be live music with food, beverages and a fantastic view.

*Application form to enter the art show, craft show or curb side market: 2014 Fall Festival Vendor Application Form.

Around The County
There are plenty of activities going on around Ellicottville as well. Pumpkinville is a local tradition that families have enjoyed for generations. If you are looking for some local produce to take home, stop by Hall's produce just outside of town. Finally, there is always the scenic drives round the hills of Ellicottville. Just head out route 98, 219, 241 or 242 and see where it takes you. There are some fabulous activities outside the city, so take a small diversion from the festival.

Pumpkinville has something for everyone. A full day of fun! Pumpkinville has plenty of treats; with a barbeque pit chicken, fresh pressed apple cider, home-made pumpkin and caramel ice cream, home-made deserts and pies, fudge, maple products, pumpkin doughnuts and more. Checkout the farm animals, hay rides, the cow train ride, the corn cannon, storyland and more. Select times there are helicopter rides. There is an apple barn and mill, painted pumpkins and local artist gift shop. And Pick up some pumpkins! From downtown Ellicottville, just follow the signs to the farm just south of town. The farm is located at:
4844 Sugartown Road
Great Valley, NY 14731
Telephone: 716-699-2205

Hall's Produce
Stop by Hall's produce to pick up some pumpkins, squash, dried corn, gourds, mums and other all items. The local produce stand has quality produce and is just down the road from Ellicottville. Take route 219 south for 3.6 miles and the farm and stand are on the left side of the road. Great prices!!! Support this local farmer who has great produce from his farm and other farms and orchids in the area all summer and fall.

EVL Lanes

Cosmic Bowling at EVL Lanes
In the fall of 2012, Tim and Bonnie's Pizza opened with EVL lanes. The EVL lanes are an 8 lane bowling alley with full TV screens, an arcade, cosmic bowling and more. They have a great menu that includes pizza, salads, wings, sandwiches, beer, soda and more. This is great addition to the fun family activities in Ellicottville. The ally and restaurant are located a few blocks east of downtown Ellicottville off of route 252/219.

Are you looking for a place to stay for 2 to 4 people year round? When visiting Ellicottville consider staying at Wildflower Unit 55. The unit is 1 mile from downtown Ellicottville and 1/4 mile from Holiday Valley Resort. The bathroom was renovated and upgrade with a vertical spa and bath tub. There are promotional discounts throughout the year to save you money. Visit for more information and to plan your trip to Ellicottville. Relax...Play and Getaway! Additional home/townhome/condo lodging in Ellicottville can be found at the Holiday Valley Rental Mangement office or at the Holiday Valley Inn (visit If all of the town lodging is reserved, some of the further options that are approximately 30 minutes away are the Red Roof Inn in Falconer or the Mictrotel in Springville.

Take a trip and enjoy the Oktoberfest festival. There is so much to enjoy in Ellicottville during this fantastic annual fall event. The hills are full of color, the streets are full of music, fun and people, the stores and tents are full of sales and the smell of great food is flowing from the restaurants and vendors and the smell of barley and hops fills the air around the Ellicottville Brewing Company. The tradition of Oktoberfest is alive, celebrating the fall season! Prost!

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