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The Return of the Bad Ski Suit Party

Madigan's is Keeping the 80's Alive and Well

As a ski town, Ellicottville has the unique opportunity to host parties specific to our collective love of winter. There’s one in particular that once upon a time was a crowd favorite, a get together that showcased heinous colors and high-waisted pants. Fortunately for skiers and snowboarders (and unfortunately for the moths in the closet) the Bad Ski Suit Party returns on Saturday, February 29th at Madigan’s. 

Ellicottville lore describes the original Bad Ski Suit Party as a “quality, extra-ridiculous spectacle. A really good time.” (credit Pat Morgan). Brooks LeFeber, owner of the storied Double Diamond Bar, said the Bad Ski Suit Party was really just an excuse to have even more fun than they were having. 

“It was an excuse for everyone to raid their parents’ wardrobe for old neon,” he said. “Plus, the looks from tourists as they watched 1980’s finest walk around town was great.” 

With a party such as this, you couldn’t keep a lid on it. If Year 1 was big, Year 2 was bigger. By Year 3, it was a staple. 

“We had a great turnout every year, and it just kept getting bigger,” Brooks said. “We would set up a giant photo backdrop with the logo on it. It was awesome.” 

Like with any good party, the Bad Ski Suit Party eventually ran its course. Until recently. Sam Nelson, of EVL Events, decided it was time to bring it back into existence. 

“As a ski town, we need to do fun things like this. We’re going to open the doors of Madigan’s at 8:00pm, and we’ll have a laser backdrop for photos (very 80s!), a DJ, a shot luge, contest for best dressed and a ton of fun.” 

While we shouldn’t need an excuse to dress up in one pieces adorned with neon and stripes, the Bad Ski Suit Party is providing a good one: raising money for the Ellicottville Skatepark. Spearheaded by Chris and Brenda Perks in conjunction with the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Village of Ellicottville, the ultimate goal is to raise enough money to build a concrete skatepark in Ellicottville. 

“Last year, we had the cover charge go towards supporting the safety patrol programs at Holiday Valley and HoliMont,” Nelson said. “We are all about giving back. We knew the Skatepark Project needs all the extra money they can get to go towards the grant, so it was only fitting they be the beneficiary.” 

The Tony Hawk Foundation, with backing by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, will match any dollar amount the Ellicottville Skatepark raises up to $250,000. You can find more information on the Skatepark project at sk8evl.com. 

DJ Si will spin a blend of Top 40s, 90s and 80s (only fitting). There’s going to be good neon, bad ski suits, and plenty of fun! This is one of those events you do not want to miss! 

The Bad Ski Suit Party goes down on Saturday, February 29th at Madigan’s, 36 Washington Street, downtown Ellicottville. You don’t need tickets, but a $5 cover charge at the door will be collected and donated to the Ellicottville Skatepark Fund. For more information, look for the event page on Madigan’s Facebook Page.