By Rich Place
The musical heritage of Springville will be celebrated on Saturday with the seventh annual Fiddle Fest expected to bring a dozen bands, a clogging group, food trucks and more throughout downtown.
The event has grown larger each year and this year will expand to three venues: at Fiddlers Green Park and at the Concord Mercantile as in years past and, new this year, at the gazebo in Heritage Park.
The three venues are appropriate — the Mercantile is essentially where the Fiddle Fest got its start; Fiddlers Green Park pays homage to the area’s name before the village was incorporated; and Heritage Park’s name celebrates the village’s history.
“Musicians play every Tuesday and Thursday at the Mercantile,” explained Trudy Stanley, event chairperson. “They decided that, because Springville was once known as Fiddlers Green, it would be nice to show our heritage by having a Fiddle Fest.
“That’s how it started. It began just in Fiddlers Green Park and each year it has grown a little bit more.”
The addition of Heritage Park’s gazebo will allow more bands to perform throughout the day. Stanley said a handful of new bands — Creek Bend, City Fiddle, The Panfil Brothers and Rush the Growler — were added after organizers received a grant from the arts services initiative through New York State Council of the Arts.
The changes don’t stop with the bands, though. New this year will be an assortment of food trucks scattered throughout the festival, Stanley said. Another change is that streets will remain open during the festival.
“We thought that would lead to better viewing as traffic passes by and create a little bit more interest that way, too,” she said. Also new this year, organizers launched an event website with photos from last year, additional details and a complete schedule.
The grant also allowed organizers to do more advertising of the event this year, Stanley said.
The festival gets underway at 10 a.m. with the WNY Clogging Association hosting workshops at Goddard Memorial Hall on Franklin Street. Two intermediate clogging workshops are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 5 p.m. with a free clogging workshop open to the public from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
“They love clogging in there because of the wood floor,” Stanley said. “When they are clogging, the sound is amazing. It’s really a neat event.”
Free live music from a dozen bands will take place at the three venues from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bands scheduled to perform throughout the event are: Creek Bend, City Fiddle, WNY Fiddle Kids, The Panfil Brothers, The Hick Ups, Hintz of Thunder, Sunset Bluegrass, Buffalo Bluegrass Youth Ensemble, Blue Mule, Niagara Frontier Fiddlers and host band, The Mercantile Musicians. Guest band Rush the Growler will be at the Trading Post.
There’s also a Wendel’s chicken barbecue sponsored by the Boy Scouts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be food trucks, crafters, face painting and live demonstrations of blacksmithing, wood carving, butter churning and wool spinning. There will be a colonial encampment at Fiddlers Green Park, and, at Heritage Park, there will be a Civil War encampment, an antique car cruise-in and a ducky derby.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their acoustic instruments for the all-day open jam by the SkatePlex.
The event is free, Stanley noted, and organizers have two raffles and donation jugs set up around the festival to help with costs. She also noted volunteers are always welcome to plan for next year’s event. To volunteer, call Stanley at (352) 476-6819 or email email@example.com.
For more information, see Springville Fiddle Fest 2018 on Facebook, or visit springvillefiddlefest.wordpress.com.