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Stroll the Streets / Ellicottville Farmers Market

Free entertainment for families, plus farmers market, return to downtown Ellicottville Friday evenings beginning July 3rd
photo/Stroll the Streets

Slowly emerging from its sanitized cocoon of solitude, Western New York yawns, stretches, and takes tentative steps into the sunlight. After months of attempting new hobbies and trial subscriptions to everything on the Internet, we are finally ready to enjoy the summer outdoors.

This year, Ellicottville introduces a new, improved, and socially distanced Stroll the Streets. The perfect remedy for a long week of work readjustments and human interaction, this weekly event is the ideal tail-end of a day spent hiking the Holiday Valley slopes or playing golf. Starting Friday, July 3rd and running every Friday through Aug. 28th from 5:00-8:00pm, the town’s businesses spill onto the stone pavements of Ellicottville’s downtown, showcasing their wares, offering free samples, and hosting drop-in activities. Be it sidewalk chalk, sponge candy snacks, or sips at the winery, Stroll the Streets is fit for all ages - children and adults.

Within the business bustle, the Stroll also boasts face and body painting, balloon twisting, awe-inspiring performances (magicians included!), a fantastic farmers market (4:00-7:00pm), and live music every week. Buskers and bands serenade the streets as the sun sets gently over the hills. It is truly special, even for those experiencing Ellicottville as their every day.

“It is a great way to enjoy a Friday night with your family!” says Carla Kruszynski, a long-time Ellicottville local and mother-of-three. “The entertainment is always interesting and often interactive. Sometimes we will go to dinner and then for a stroll. You are guaranteed to bump into some friends along the way. The farmers market is a perfect combination to grab some fresh food for the weekend. We are looking forward to attending again this year.”

The rest of the Kruszynski clan is in total agreement.

“It is different every time,” says Daniel, a rising 5th grader. “I love to go to the man and lady that do the face painting and the balloons. I like to see my friends walking around. You know you will get to see people you know.”

“It is fun, a great time to be together with your family,” adds Cayda, a new 4th grader. “The interactive activities are the best. I loved meeting the lady with the hula hoops. She told me you can do anything you put your mind to do. I loved getting the snow cones from Sal.”

“It is a great way to spend time with your family,” agrees Jackson, 7th grade. “We like to stop by the farmers market to pick up a treat or two.”

In light of Covid-19 regulations, Stroll the Streets sponsors - the Rotary Club of Ellicottville and M&T Bank - are working closely with event organizers to ensure visitor safety and security.

“We are limiting our entertainment this year to a smaller number, allowing people to be able to social distance better,” says organizing committee member and Ava Grace Fashions owner Jessica Gilbert. “Our face painters and balloon twisters have guidelines from the CDC and state levels.”

The Ellicottville Farmers Market (EFM) will adopt similar regulations, mandating facemasks to be worn by vendors and customers at all times, maintaining distance between tents in accordance with CDC guidelines, and ensuring that plenty of hand sanitizer will be on-hand, if you will, donated by the Ellicottville Distillery. 

“The Ellicottville Farmers Market is a place that aims to provide an open air, community setting that allows local vendors to showcase their hard work, goods, and produce,” says Caitlin Croft, the market’s organizer and spokeswoman. “It is definitely a labor of love. Giving a platform for local producers to sell their goods makes our community that much more connected.

The market, situated snugly in the grassy space in front of the 1887 Building, will host an expansive variety of WNY growers, producers, foragers, and kitchen geniuses. The BioDome of Jamestown, Ellicottville Greens, and Om Nohm Gluten-Free Bakery will grace the star-studded list of vendors, alongside anticipated newcomer Perfectly Blended Farms and morel aficionado/Fungus Goddess, Quincy Widger.

“Stroll the Streets will look different this year,” acknowledges Jessica Gilbert, “but we know so many people rely on this fun on a weekly basis. We cannot wait to see you all!”

Join neighbors, friends, and newfound acquaintances as Stroll the Streets celebrates its sapphire anniversary this 2020 summer. With ice cream, fresh produce, and balloon animals in [sanitized] hand, unmask the true beauty of Ellicottville’s enchanted hills … with masks on, of course.