By Alicia Dziak

It’s hard to believe that September is here—time for a new school year and plenty of fall fun. As we head into the end of the summer solstice and the beginning of the autumn season, be sure to take time out to enjoy all the wonderful activities the area has to offer.

SGI’s first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 4, and the excitement of a new year awaits. Got little ones? Mark your calendars for Sept. 13 when both Springville Elementary and Colden Elementary schools will be hosting their parent nights. The high school’s open house is Wednesday, Sept. 19, followed by the middle school open house on Sept. 20.

SGI’s fall sports are in full swing, with games beginning this week. Don’t miss the highlight of the season during Homecoming week, the last week of the month, which ends with a parade and football game on Friday, Sept. 28.

Night Lights at Griffis Sculpture park are back starting Sept. 12. Griffis Sculpture Park will once again be transformed with creative lighting for a show called Night Lights.  A portion of the Park (Mill Valley Road starting at the parking lot) is dressed up with lights, illuminating the trails and some sculptures with colorful and theatrical lighting, creating an almost surreal experience.

You will have four weeks to experience this amazing event! Trails will open from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on the Fridays and Saturdays.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, check out Springville’s Oktoberfest, 2 to 11 p.m. at Fireman’s Park. This event features food, music, fireworks and of course, beer, brats and other German fare, as well as a German Car and Motorcycle Show from 2 to 5 p.m. For more info, visit

There’s still plenty of time to get some camping in, and why not make it easy on yourself by staying local at Sprague Brook Park? With 123 campsites, Sprague Brook has a lot to offer the recreational camper amidst its towering trees and freshwater lake. Campers will also enjoy fishing, hiking trails, playgrounds, plenty of picnic areas, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and the awesome brook! Reservations can be made by calling (716) 858-8355.

Mark your calendar for Sept. 15, when Pumpkinville opens for its 50th season. Pumpkinville, located at 4844 Sugartown Road in Great Valley, is a one-stop shop for fall fun, including numerous attractions, like hay rides and Jumpin’ Pillows, loads of food, apples, pumpkins and so much more.

This year’s new projects include a hill with multiple children’s slides, a new section called the Barnyard Ball Zone, and a new restroom facility that replaces numerous portables.

Barnyard Ball Zone features football, baseball and basketball-sized holes in a customized wall made to look like a cornfield. Visitors can try their luck throwing balls through the holes. There’s a smaller version of the building for younger children next door.

This year’s corn maze will feature a tribute to Pumpkinville’s 50th year of making memories and family traditions.

For more info, visit

Sept. 22-23, Ellicottville will host the second annual Ellicottville Lacrosse Festival, and welcome hundreds of competitors from all over. For more info, visit

National Alpaca Farm Days  are held every fall, and this year’s event is Sept. 29-30. Be sure to visit several of the local alpaca farms, where you can meet a soft and gentle alpaca, learn about their products, and visit the gift shop too! Alpaca farms nationwide will open their farms to the public.  This is a great time to get out to alpaca farms and learn about alpacas, their background, their fleece and what can be done with it, the products the fleece makes, the tax benefits to owning alpacas, costs of raising alpacas, and of course, the babies or crias as they are called.  Most farms will be open between 9-5 both days.

September is about the changing of the seasons, the end of summer fun and the beginning of fall excitement. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy every moment!