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Take You’re Late Winter Excursion to a New Level of Enjoyment in Ellicottville

Home to world-class events and more outdoor activities than one vacation can handle, Ellicottville is the ideal spot to launch a Western New York adventure. Folks looking to hit the slopes will be enamored with Holiday Valley, which features 13 lifts, 60 slopes and trails, an aerial park, and more. The city is also a haven for foodies including can't miss restaurants such as Ellicottville Brewing Co. and Dina’s.


The Ellicottville Winter Carnival Featuring the Mardi Gras Parade is one of the leading winter events for families in Western New York, and it will take place March 9-11. This year’s event kicks-off with the Masquerade Party, which includes New Orleans-style food and the crowing of the king and queen for the weekend. Activities then move a mile south of downtown to Holiday Valley (ski resort). All ages will love the face painting area and the opportunity to dress up for the Costume Parade. At the Snowbar, folks can enjoy libations and alcohol-free drinks, as well as live music and games. The Ski Patrol, Safety Patrol, and Lederhosen Ski Club will host cookouts that are a perfect break from a day on the slopes. Dummy Downhill is a favorite competition with locals, and it features dummies made by contestants that take a ride down one of the ski runs, it’s a sight to behold. The premiere activity of the carnival is the Mardi Gras parade, which takes place on the streets of the downtown area. Patrons will encounter a festive Mardi Gras experience complete with colorful floats, costumed performers, music, entertainment, and more. interviewed Event Manager, Barb Pump, to learn about this all-ages Mardi Gras gala.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

BP: This will be the 26th year of the Carnival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

BP: We anticipate around 4,000 people.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

BP: Our activities attract people of all ages, especially at the parade.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

BP: Ellicottville attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year, and the Mardi Gras parade is the start of our yearlong schedule of 14 events. It’s true what everyone says “There is always something going on in Ellicottville.”


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

BP: The 3rd annual Jr. Bacchus Ball (Friday) features the crowning of the king and queen for the weekend. Then on Saturday, there are a variety of activities during the day at Holiday Valley, until even more excitement begins at 6:15 pm when the parade starts. For more information on Holiday Valley activities, you can visit their website.  


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

BP: Our Grand Marshall for the parade will be Punxsutawney Phil and the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere.

BP: You can feel the excitement when you arrive in Ellicottville as everyone begins to line up to watch all the festive floats and walking groups. The Mardi Gras spirit is in the air as the judges begin to assemble, and Louisiana-style music is playing throughout the village to get everyone going before the parade starts. Ellicottville is a four-block, Norman Rockwell-style walkable village with boutique shops, excellent dining options, and a vibrant nightlife. In fact, over 14 different acts will perform live at downtown venues on Saturday evening.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

BP: We have a variety of lodging options available, follow the link for more information.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

BP: This event brings many visitors to Ellicottville, who end up visiting our shops and eating at our restaurants. The Carnival’s goal isn’t making a profit, but instead, it's all about providing a fun experience for all ages.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

BP: We always have something going on in Ellicottville. The Mardi Gras parade brings excitement to everyone, especially kids. The smiles on their faces as they watch the floats pass makes everything worthwhile.

For more information about the Ellicottville Winter Carnival Featuring the Mardi Gras Parade, please visit the event website.