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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cleveland Winter Sports Show

Looking for a new place to play this winter? Check out dozens of options at the Cleveland Winter Sports Show next weekend in Bedford Heights.

The show runs 2-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Mediterranean Party Center, 25021 Rockside Road. It will feature information from dozens of regional ski resorts, including Alpine Valley and Boston Mills/Brandywine in Ohio; Peek'n Peak, Cockaigne, Holiday Valley, HoliMont, Bristol Mountain and Kissing Bridge in New York; Hidden Valley and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania; Timberline in West Virginia; Wisp in Maryland and Jay Peak and Killington in Vermont.
Area ski shops will showcase merchandise, and local ski clubs and travel agencies will promote their services.
Admission to the show is $5 (children 12 and under are free with an adult). A kickoff party with cash bar will follow the show both days, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
For details, visit the website or call 216-496-4685.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

$2,000 grants to first-time homebuyers

The NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation is now offering $2,000 grants to first-time homebuyers for closing cost and/or down payment assistance.

The New York State Association of REALTORS Housing Opportunities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2003. The Foundation's mission is to assist individuals in becoming homeowners by identifying outside partnership opportunities with organizations that facilitate homeownership and also to provide direct support in the home buying process to low-to-moderate income families. It is with this in mind that we found it necessary to provide a program for you and your clients to assist in purchasing a home.
The purpose of the first-time homebuyer grant program is to afford those individuals and families who fall under the low-to-moderate income level, the ability to purchase a home by assisting them with their closing and/or down payment costs.
Click here to visit our newly-designed website for information on the program and how to apply.

For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beer&Wine Festival Update

Steins and Stems Unite at Beer and Wine Festival
Holiday Valley Resort, The Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewery are 'brewing' something special for the 7th Annual Beer and Wine Festival running November 12-13 in Ellicottville. New this year, 100 beer and wine connoisseurs will be able to purchase a $100 Beer and Wine Fest VIP pass, entitling bearers to sample some of the finest Belgian beers and specialty products from U.S. craft brewers, along with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a special VIP glass and free poster. Festival lodging packages are also available. A one-night stay for two with festival vouchers and shuttle service starts at $220 at Holiday Valley, while the Wingate by Wyndham is offering a two-night stay for two including festival tickets as well as tickets to Friday night's Beer Tasting Dinner for $399. Presale tickets are $40 per person for the festival and $50 per person for the dinner. For more information, call 716-699-2345. To purchase VIP tickets, call 716-699-2537 and ask for Peter.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wineries Prepare For Harvest Wine Weekends

October 19, 2010

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, soon to be "Lake Erie Wine Country" between North East and Silver Creek, will hold its annual Harvest Wine Weekends at 20 wineries during the first two weekends in November.

Each winery will treat visitors to a wine tasting and provide a fall food paired with a special wine. As in the past, ticket holders will receive a wine glass, recipe booklet, a $5 voucher for wine purchase and a gift. In keeping with the trail's desire to purchase locally, the gift for the event is a Wendell August Forge boxed coaster, manufactured in Grove City.

Tickets are now on sale for the event at $35 per person for either weekend, Nov. 6-7 or Nov. 13-14. They may be purchased online at or by calling 877-326-6561. Ticket holders will set their own agenda, spending time at each winery at their leisure between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

Designated driver tickets are available for $20 and include everything except wine and the $5 voucher

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Great Pumpkins

Unmistakable Symbol Of Fall Has Many Uses As Food, Decoration

October 7, 2010 - By Dave Emke

With the coming of the fall season comes an influx of pumpkins into our general consciousness.

There are pumpkin pies to be eaten, pumpkin-flavored beverages to be drank, and - of course - pumpkins to be used as decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving displays.

Whether they are of the carved jack-o'-lantern variety or just set out to be looked at in their full glory, pumpkins will be on porches and mantelpieces throughout the region and the country in the weeks to come.

Numerous stands, both the temporary roadside variety and the permanent buildings, are distributing pumpkins to one and all as the leaves change color and the air gets crisp. Pumpkins fit the motif of the autumn season, and they have become an integral part of the time of year.

The tradition of the jack-o'-lantern dates back thousands of years, when legend had it that the glowing gourds welcomed deceased loved ones on a certain night of the year - now celebrated as Halloween - and protected against evil spirits.

The pumpkin may not really have such magical qualities, but it has lived on through the centuries as a sign of the season without a doubt.


One of many places locally where customers can find pumpkins is Four Seasons Nursery and Garden Center.

Julie Harper, co-owner of Four Seasons along with her husband Matt, said the business usually sells between 250 and 300 pumpkins during the seasonal rush. The Harpers import their pumpkins from an Amish farm in Stockton, she said.

Customers who show up at Four Seasons tend to spend some time walking around the displays of pumpkins before deciding what they want to take home for their porches, Mrs. Harper said.

''They usually look for a few different sizes if they are just putting them out for decorations,'' she said. ''If they are going to carve them, most of them want a nice round one or a tall one, with at least one side smooth to be able to carve from - and, of course, everybody wants a handle on top.''

She said the process people go through when they stop by to buy pumpkins is much different from what they do when they visit to purchase other plants the business sells.

''For the most part, they wander around, look and see something they like and that's what they take,'' Mrs. Harper said. ''I don't think they come in thinking, 'This is what I want.'''

Pumpkins for sale at Four Seasons range in price from 50 cents to $9 each, Mrs. Harper said, depending on their size and presentation quality.

''We try to keep them economical,'' she said.

Four Seasons Nursery and Garden Center is located at 3181 N. Main St. Ext. (Route 60) in Jamestown. For more info, including store hours and other items offered, call 484-1485.


To celebrate all things pumpkin, look no further than the rolling hills of Cattaraugus County.

Pumpkinville, a 200-acre farm located just outside of Ellicottville, has thousands of pumpkins from which to choose as visitors search for exactly what they need. There are piles of displays to sort through, or visitors can pick their own prize from the farm's seven-acre pumpkin patch.

In addition to the sea of pumpkins, Pumpkinville has plenty of other attractions to delight people of all ages. Among the fun to be had is a hay ride; a corn cannon visitors can use to fire corn cobs at hay bale targets; a ''cow train'' for the kids; a ducky derby where rubber ducks are raced using old-fashioned hand water pumps; Goat Mountain, where visitors feed goats as they climb; a farm animal petting zoo; and a six-acre corn maze, one of the largest in the United States.

Pumpkin doughnuts are made on site for patrons to enjoy, and pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin fudge are available to accompany homemade pies and other desserts at the snack shack and Di's Pies and Bake Shoppe. Fresh apple cider and other such delicacies are made at the farm as well, courtesy of the farm's antique cider mill and press.

Souvenirs that can be taken home from the Boo-tique and Betty's Barn include local craft creations, fall decorations, children's gifts and dried flowers. And, of course, painted pumpkins can be purchased to enhance any seasonal decoration or display.

Pumpkinville, New York state's oldest continuously operating pumpkin farm, is open to the public every day through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The farm has been open since the early '60s and has been under the operation of its current owners, the Pawlowski family, since 1996. It is located at 4844 Sugartown Road (Route 98) in the town of Great Valley. For more information, call 699-2205 or visit its website at

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ellicottville Fall Festival

I don't have to tell you how beautiful Ellicottville is in the fall. The hills which serve as the backdrop to the village are alive with color.
And with apologies to Julie Andrews, the hills are also alive with the sound of music.

We feature a lot of great artists in Ellicottville over the course of the spring, summer and fall and in many respects, Fall Festival is like our music finale. – only compared to events like Summer Fest, with the grand stage and big name artists, the music that you'll find during this coming weekend's Fall Festival is a smaller, more intimate mix of rock, blues, country and even a bit of punk… if any of you remember that genre.

Balloons restaurant has long been the driving force behind Fall Festival's music scene and this year's no different. Their 'Rocktoberfest' celebration kicks off on Thursday with Mo Porter… Buffalo's 'ultimate party band' and doesn't stop until Sunday night… 13 bands in all.

Personally, I'm looking forward to checking out 'More Than Me', who this summer toured London England after winning Hard Rock's 2010 Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands. I know that's a mouthful, but to put it into perspective, these guys performed at the same concert in London that featured Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Pearl Jam.

Balloons sets up a special tent and stage to host these performers because they really try hard to make it feel like an event unto itself.

Now here's something that I promise will be music to your ears. This year, for the first time ever, just down the road, Ellicottville Brewing Company is staging their own 'Waking Up the Village' concert on the Saturday, with their own tent and performance stage as well.

The highlight of EBC's concert during the day is definitely going to be Beatle Magic, considered to be one of the best Beatles tribute bands this side of the Atlantic. They take a unique approach to showcasing the Beatles legacy by putting on three different shows over a three hour period, with each show highlighting the Beatles progression from young Liverpool heartthrobs to international superstars.

Now I don't think Ellicottville needs to be woken up… but I would agree that EBC's headliner – Jimmie Van Zant – cousin to past and existing members of Lynyrd Skynryd will definitely rock the village. Talk about eclectic and full of energy… this guy has a unique blend of southern rock and country that promise to turn this concert into an event people will be talking about for months if not years to come.

So do come to Ellicottville this weekend (October 8, 9 and 10) to enjoy the charm and ambience of our town, our great fall colors and a lot of really good, if not great music. It promises to be one heck of a celebration

C. Rick & Julia McMahon

Broker/partners Real Estate Advantage

Bemus Point & Jamestown, NY

716-483-3300 or 484-2020