By Deb Everts
Residents of the Springville area are excited to have the 30th annual Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival back in the village this year, which will take place June 7-9.
The event celebrates the dairy industry and the role of agriculture in people’s daily lives. This year’s theme is “Celebrating WNY Dairy/Ag Festival’s 30th Anniversary.”
Festivities kick off Friday morning with “Drive Your Tractor to School Day.” The festival officially begins at 5 p.m. when rides by American Amusements open. Crafters will have their booths open until 8 p.m. that night and the Farm Tent will be open until 9 p.m.
Some of the highlights of this year’s festival will include the festival parade on Saturday at 10 a.m., the crowning of the Erie County Dairy Princess and ambassadors, a presentation of Western New York Dairy of Distinction awards, an “Ice Cream Eating Contest” sponsored by the Future Farmers of America (FFA) at 2 p.m. Saturday, and a “Name the Calf and Goat” contest at the Farm Tent all weekend.
Meet the 2018-19 Dairy Princess Kristen Brown and her ambassadors at the Music Tent on Friday night from 8 to 9 p.m. The princess and her entourage will be in attendance all weekend and have a stand set up with Upstate Farm’s Intense Milk.
There will be live entertainment at the Music Tent all weekend. The Friday lineup includes the Springville School Chorus, Gene Hiltz & The Rustic Ramblers, and the Ozone Rangers.
Saturday entertainers include Down Home Country Cloggers, Bill Coca and the Springville Jazz Band, Dark Red Duo, Band of Brothers, Dave Jeffer’s Magic Show, and Q. Phunk. Sunday’s music will include Ken Cornell and The Country Poor Boys, Backwoods Country Cloggers, Dave Tucker with Nip-N-Tuck.
The crowning of the new Dairy Princess will also take place at the Music Tent on Saturday, as well as the Dairy of Distinction awards. The Music Tent reopens Sunday morning at 10 a.m. with a service by the Faith Baptist Church.
Other features and attractions include an arts and crafts show with 30 or more craft vendors, new and antique farm equipment displays, farm activities for kids, an animal farm zoo and a food court.
Pastor Kevin Friedman, who is organizing the event, said the event has been held at Springville-Griffith Institute High School for three previous years, but it was not held at all last year due to grounds construction at the school.
“We couldn’t find a place large enough to hold our event last year,” he said. “The grounds at Springville-Griffith are very well-kept and very nice. We have the use of the grass fields now when we used to be on dirt, which was kind of annoying to some folks.”
According to Friedman, the idea of a festival became a reality 30 years ago at a kitchen table when an agriculture teacher and a farm family got together and planned the first one. They were thinking about the fun everyone could have, but also wanted to give people the opportunity to look into the lives of farm families.
“The festival is good for Springville because it brings in not only the locals but also outsiders to town,” he said. “It gives people a chance to see what’s going on in Springville and to check out some of the local businesses.”
Friedman said the more the community gets involved in the dairy festival, the more they show themselves off. He said the vendors and the little shops in town will have a great variety of things to offer, so it’s also an opportunity for them.
“We wish to thank our sponsors listed on our website because this event is completely funded by them,” he said. “Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t have a Dairy Festival.”
The festival will take place, rain or shine, at Springville-Griffith Institute High School located at 290 North Buffalo St. Festival hours are Friday evening from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
For updated information on featured attractions and events, check online at wnydairyagfest.com. Find it on Facebook.