Annual Valentine’s Day event to be held Saturday

SOUTH DAYTON – Love will be in the air this Saturday in the village of South Dayton. The village will be host to the annual “You Gotta Love It!” event. The event will start at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Every February, the village library sells Valentine hearts for $1. Proceeds from sales this year will benefit the village playground renovations. Playground plans will be on display at the library sponsored by the South Dayton Community Organization. This group is working to secure funding for updates at the playground, including grills, tables, an exercise path, updates to the existing baseball fields and planting trees. These hearts will be sold throughout the village at various businesses. including: Valley Hardware, Sunrise Cargo Corporation, the Mane Event, Astry’s Hardware, Amerigas, Bob G.’s Garage, Deb’s Korner Kutters, Howard Lime Service and Affordable Chiropractic.

“Everybody is selling hearts. We’re trying to make this playground more family friendly,” village mayor Karen Strickland said. “It’s good to involve all the businesses (in the effort).”

Purchased hearts may be hung on the Tree of Love which will be centered in the gazebo in the village park. Coffee and hot chocolate will be provided by the Mustardseed at the gazebo.

New this year, the village will offer train rides aboard the New York and Lake Erie Railroad’s Valentine Express. The railroad will be giving short rides from the east side of the village to the west side of the village. Each ride will cost $2. Tickets can be purchased at the train depot starting at 10:30 a.m. Rides in the heated car will depart from the depot starting at 11 a.m., leaving at the top of the hour until 4 p.m. The road closest to the depot will be closed to traffic during the train rides for safety.

“We’re hoping that a lot of people want to ride the train Saturday,” Strickland said.

Also near the depot, will be a photo opportunity. Visitors will be able to visit the site near the Depot where the movie “The Natural” was filmed starring Robert Redford. According to Strickland, the original chair had to be replaced but a new chair has been found.

“We have an old chair … from years ago. I left it at the Depot and it was the perfect Robert Redford chair,” Strickland said.

For the children, crafts will be available at the library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children will also be able to get their face painted starting at 10:30 a.m. The Dayton Historical Society will have a display and the Dye family will have a display on making maple syrup. Becky Dudley of Cornell Cooperative Extension will also present “Eat Smart New York” at the library. Yvonne Park will sign her book “Murder For Hire: My Brother’s Story” at the library from 10 a.m. to noon. The library is located at the end of Park Street near the village park.

Other activities throughout the town include: hot chocolate will be provided at the Cattaraugus County Bank. Students from Pine Valley will showcase their artistic talents in the village square as they make hearts and other sculptures out of snow. If there is no snow, visitors will be able to walk through the “Walkway of Hearts.” Linda Frederick-son of the Mane Event will be chair for the students.

Other promotions throughout town include complimentary refreshments while patrons shop for jewelry at Herbal Expressions. The Mustardseed will offer a free beverage with the purchase of a meal. The South Dayton Super Market will offer two pizza slices for $2. Diners will be welcomed by a colorful display of early 1900s valentines at Capozzi’s Too. Diners will also receive 10 percent off a Valentine lunch for two.

The historic Zollinger’s Restaurant on the Square will offer a beef on weck and potato salad lunch. Debbie and Charlie’s will serve a grilled hot dog with a cup of soup as the special. Visitors to Debbie and Charlie’s will also enjoy a model railroad display set up by members of the Gowanda and Buffalo Model Railroad Club. In the rustic atmosphere of Roughkutt’s, guests will enjoy heart specials. For all the visitors who enjoy the outdoors and their pets, Austin Milling will offer a Valentine special of $1 off bird seed, dog and cat food.

Throughout the day on Saturday, visitors can register at local businesses to win a $50 gift certificate that can be used at any of the South Dayton businesses. Parking for the event will be available throughout the village and around the village square.

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