SOUTH DAYTON - At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the village of South Dayton will be adorned with Valentines and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the New York & Lake Erie Railroad's ''Valentine Express.''
Each February, the village library sponsors a $1 Valentine heart fundraiser. This year the heart fundraiser proceeds will benefit the updating project for the village playground.
Attendees can check out the project design on display at the village library by the South Dayton Community Organization. This group is working to secure funding for the update that includes grills, tables, trees and an exercise path that will compliment the existing ball fields. With this update, the playground will become a community park for family and friends outings to be fun and memorable.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., children will enjoy making crafts at the library. Face painting will be at 10:30 a.m.
The Dayton Historical Society will have a display at the library, and Becky Dudley, of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, will present ''East Smart New York.'' The Dye family will speak on making maple syrup.
The $2 tickets for the New York & Lake Erie Railroad's "Valentine Express" will be sold at 10:30 in the depot; there will be no pre-sale tickets. The first mini-ride will begin at 11 a.m. and on the top of the hour through 4 p.m. The Valentine Express rides, in a heated car, will start at the depot and travel to the east and west ends of the village and back to the depot. The street in front of the depot will be closed to traffic.
Coffee and hot chocolate, prepared by the Mustardseed, will be sold in the gazebo to benefit the village playground update.
Also, attendees can view the areas where the Robert Redford movie, ''The Natural,'' was filmed and take their Valentine's picture near the movie's filming site by the depot.
The businesses will have the $1 fundraiser hearts. On the heart, attendees can write a special message to their Valentine and hang it on the ''Tree of Love'' in the gazebo. The Cattaraugus County Bank will have hot chocolate.
Linda Frederickson, of The Mane Event, is chairperson for Pine Valley students expressing their art talent on the Village Square making snow hearts and other sculptures. No snow? There will still be hearts to enjoy.
Herbal Expressions has jewelry along with complimentary refreshments. The Mustardseed will offer a free beverage with a meal. The Super Market will be selling pizza. Capozzi's Too will serve a "Valentine Lunch for Two."
The historical Zollinger's Restaurant, on the square, will offer beef on weck and potato salad. In Kim's Cafe, with tables for two, there will be old-fashioned cotton candy along with Valentine specials. A grilled hot dog, served with a cup of soup, special in Debbie & Charlie's, will be warming before the Valentine Express rides.
Also, while dining, attendees can enjoy the model railroad display set up by members of the Gowanda and Buffalo Model Railroad Club. In the rustic atmosphere of Roughkutt's, there will be heart specials. Austin Milling will host a Valentine special on bird seed, dog and cat food.
Valentine hearts will also be sold during the week in 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.