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March Traditions

Get Ready for Winter Carnival and Pond Skimming at Holiday Valley
There’s no doubt that winter in Ellicottville is always an unbelievably good time. By the time March comes around, however, many of us are ready for some consistent Vitamin D and warmer temperatures. Finish the year strong with these annual outdoor events hosted by Holiday Valley: Winter Carnival (March 14-15) and Pond Skimming (Saturday, March 28). 
 
So many activities! Winter Carnival and Mardi Gras are fan favorite events, with Ellicottville and Holiday Valley teaming up to provide one of the most fun and iconic weekends of the season. Saturday at HV is vintage ski suit day (which, for some people, is every day) as well as the Mountain Crew’s Snobar - a perennial attraction that brings people in from all over. 
 
In keeping with tradition, every year each lift crew gets a pile of snow and transforms their mound into fun and unique sculptures; over the seasons we’ve seen dragons, trains, mini villages and tons of other creatively thought-up masterpieces. Safety Patrol will have a cookout at the base of Yodeler the entire weekend, while on Sunday, they’ll do a pancake breakfast at the Warming Hut on Champagne. 
 
Then there’s the Mardi Gras parade on Washington Street downtown in the village, held Saturday evening.  Last year the participants went above and beyond with their costumes - it is always a sight to see!   Better yet, join in the fun and march too!  Everyone is invited to take part, and it’s FREE!  (For a parade application, go to www.ellicottvilleny.com or contact the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce at 716-699-5046.)
 
Cleveland native Zack Smith comes to Ellicottville with friends for one weekend every year, and it’s Winter Carnival. 
 
“The Snobar is an absolute riot. We participate in a couple of the events, but the last few years have been sunny days so we’re content with just sitting around on the deck at Yodeler, having a couple brews and hanging out.” 
 
An added bonus, he noted, was how awesome the skiing has been to complement all of the activities going on. 
 
“Holiday Valley never ceases to amaze me,” he said. “The quality of the snow is unmatched, which is why we come here. There’s tons of stuff to do that weekend, and when we feel like skiing, we’re never disappointed.” 
 
Two Winter Carnival events stand out in particular: the GS Beer/Rootbeer race on Yodeler and the Dummy Downhill. The Dummy Downhill has gone on for some time, and the creativity people show in building their ‘dummys’ is outstanding. The dummys take flight, and the crashes are spectacular. Entry forms for the Dummy Downhill are available at www.holidayvalley.com. 
 
Fast-forward two weekends later, and Holiday Valley gives us Pondskimming at Yodeler. On Saturday, March 28, participants will hike the bottom part of Yodeler slope to get a head start, then jet down and skim across a man-made trench of water. Not everyone makes it across, but everyone’s attempts are hilarious - especially those who dress up for it. 
 
The beauty of these two weekends is that they are very family friendly. A note to parents: don’t let the label “Mardi Gras” scare you … both Holiday Valley Resort and the Village of Ellicottville have made this universally known celebration into a family zone, so don’t hesitate to bring your little ones along for the ride.
 
For more information on these and other March events at Holiday Valley, head to www.holidayvalley.com and www.ellicottvilleny.com.