By SHIRLEY PULAWSKI
OBSERVER Staff Writer
Despite temperatures in the 90s, the fifth annual Chadwick Bay Beach Bash had plenty of activity all day spread around all corners of Wright Park Beach.
OBSERVER photos by Shirley Pulawski
Eight teams competed in the sand sculpture contest on Wright Park Beach at the morning kick off of the Chadwick Bay Beach Bash on Saturday.
The sand castle contest began in the morning with eight teams competing. The result was a variety of large sand designs, including a Mayan pyramid replica and an ornate octopus.
The ample length of the beach allowed festival-goers to spread out on the beach comfortably. Organizer Tim Gornikiewicz said the event was very well-attended despite the heat. "The beach really got a lot of visitors today," he said.
Gornikiewicz said visitors came from all over.
"I can't really estimate how many people we had because everything is so spread out, but the life guard told me he thinks there were more people this year. ... There are over a dozen or so boats ... and one of them had at least 15 people on it," he said.
Plenty of barbecue was available from three vendors: Big Mike's BBQS from Silver Creek; Big Belly Barbecue from Hamburg and Famous Dave's from Cheektowaga. Smoky slabs of ribs, piles of pulled pork, and mounds of smoked turkey and ham were in abundance along with many choices of sweet, savory and spicy sauces.
Live music was scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. The stage performances provided music to beach-goers as well as people cooling off under the large tent in the grass. Dunkirk resident Matt Pokoj joined the festivities as the Jimmy Buffet Tribute band, Key West Express, from Erie, played. Pokoj said he enjoys outdoor festivals like this because they capture summer atmosphere.
"Good music, good food. Great times!" he said.
All parts of the park hosted events and performers throughout the day. Little League teams from around the region competed all day in the Wright Park fields, and radio personality Ruben Brown, a former Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears offensive lineman, joined Shredd and Ragan of 103.3 The Edge to sign autographs in the afternoon. Brent Persia entertained crowds with an acoustic one-man band performance.
This event was funded by local area businesses, including DFT Communications, NRG, APG, Cott, KixCountry, Coors Light and the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce.