By Mary Heyl
Memorial Day Weekend is almost here, which means it’s time to mark your calendar for the many festivals taking place this summer throughout Cattaraugus and Erie counties! Whether you enjoy arts and crafts, locally-made horseradish or live music, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy all summer long.
Twin Maple Event Management (TMEM) is hosting its third annual series of artisan festivals at Granny’s Boot Antiques, home of the Grevpode Gallery, at 10761 Miller Road in Springville. Now through September, Granny’s Boot hosts a monthly outdoor festival featuring artists, exhibitors, demonstrators, music, food and more. Each month features a different theme: May’s festival, which takes place on May 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is fiber-themed!
In this case, fiber refers to any kind of animal fleece that can be made into a warm garment or unique craft! Demonstrators will be on site showing visitors how fiber can be spun into yarn, and there will also be weavers showing visitors how to use this hand-made yarn. From felted items to knitted items, there will be a variety of crafters and artisans who use this unique medium to make all kinds of beautiful pieces. Like all TMEM artisan festivals, this event is free to attend and children are welcome! For more information, including vendor registration, visit www.tmemfestivals.com.
Saturday, June 2 is the Hinsdale Horseradish Festival taking place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hinsdale Memorial Park at 1547 Gile Hollow Road in the Town of Hinsdale. Just a half mile south of I-86, the park is easy to find and the perfect venue for “everything horseradish.” Hinsdale’s connection to horseradish dates back to the early 20th century, when a local woman, Maude Bell, and her family grew horseradish along the Ischua Creek and transported it by horse and buggy to sell at the markets in Olean!
Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to eat and buy horseradish, as well as a variety of other items from festival vendors, such as wine, craft beer, pottery, handmade jewelry, furniture, handmade soaps, crafts, candles, paintings and more! This year’s festival includes a car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as live music until 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit the Hinsdale Horseradish Festival’s event page on Facebook.
“Become Greek for a day” at the Buffalo Greekfest from Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3! The festival takes place at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Buffalo at 146 West Utica Street, and admission is just $3 (free for children under age 12). Highlights include delicious Greek cuisine, live Greek music all day long and Greek folk dancing, featuring dancers from Greece. Visitors can enjoy imported foods, baked goods, gifts and art from Greece or inspired by Greek culture.
Visitors can even experience Greek heritage in Buffalo through one of the church tours that will be given throughout the weekend; the historic Greek Orthodox Church was completed in 1906 and is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. Visit buffalogreekfest.org or call (716)882-9485 to learn more!
Enjoy the 61st Annual Allentown Art Festival throughout the weekend of Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Allentown Historic Preservation District of Buffalo. Each year, thousands of art patrons visit this unique juried festival, which features the work of over 400 exhibitors. Since 1958, artists and crafters have been exhibiting their work in a variety of mediums including clay, photography, sculpture, glass, acrylic, oil painting, drawings, graphics, mixed media, jewelry and more. Exhibitors include local artists, as well as artists from across the United States.
If you are searching for that one of a kind piece for a gift or for yourself, you’re sure to find so much at this inspiring festival! Bring your appetite, as there are almost forty delicious food vendors serving everything from Cajun barbecue to cheesecake! Visit allentownartfestival.com for a festival guide and map and a complete listing of artists with links to their websites.
Saturday, June 16 is Randolph’s 46th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. along Randolph’s historic Main Street. Between 60 and 80 vendors will line the street with all kinds of items, including quilts, hand-made toys, soaps and scrubs, wooden décor items and more. Bring your appetite, as there’s no shortage of delicious foods, like kettle corn, taffy, fried dough, chicken barbecue and Italian sausage.
The Randolph Area Community Development has a variety of activities planned for the day. Children and families can enjoy the dunk tank, petting zoo, and music throughout the day, as well as a live performance from Randolph’s own Expressions Performing Arts Center dancers. Feeling lucky? Buy a raffle ticket to win a John Deere lawn mower, which will be raffled off at 5:00 p.m. (winner need not be present to win). Visit www.enjoyrandolph.org for more details!
The following weekend, June 16 and 17 is also the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, the third largest Juneteenth celebration in the world! Juneteenth, otherwise known as Freedom Day, commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery through President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. In 1976, the city of Buffalo first celebrated this important day, and after much growth, the festival is now held in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at the intersection of Best Street and Fillmore Avenue.
The festival features Underground Railroad tours, children’s activities, African dance and drum lessons and various activities at the heritage tent. Bring the whole family to enjoy a variety of vendors, an antique car show, the family photo booth and the popular basketball showcase! The festival kicks off at 11 a.m. on June 16 with the annual parade that begins at Genesee Street and ends at the park. Visit www.juneteenthofbuffalo.com for a complete schedule and photo gallery.
Holiday Valley’s Double Black Diamond Golf Course transforms during Independence Day Weekend to become one of the best outdoor concert venues in the region for Ellicottville’s Summer Music Festival from Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 1! Enjoy live performances by a variety of bands and musicians: Friday night’s opening performance will be Uprooted, featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, with opening act Functional Flow.
Saturday night will feature Dennis DeYoung and the music of Styx, followed by the Buffalo Philharmonic on Sunday evening. Bring the whole family for a great weekend: children ages 12 and under are free, and discounted presale tickets can be purchased now through June 17 through the Chamber of Commerce online at www.ellicottvilleny.com or call 1-800-349-9099.