The Fredonia Farm Festival kicked off its 44th year on Friday, with plenty of vendors, entertainment and smiling faces.
The grand opening began at 9 a.m. along with the farmers' market vendors.
Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables covered the stands all day on Church Street. The Creek Bend Band entertained the crowd from noon to 3 p.m. at the gazebo, where the Rustic Ramblers took over at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., The Earth Quakers hit the main stage, rocking all ages with popular hits from the '80s with tunes by bands such as Loverboy and Billy Squier.
OBSERVER Photos by Shirley Pulawski
Visitors to the 44th annual Farm Festival perused a variety of craft, food and other vendors on Friday.
"Everyone knows the songs," said Fredonia resident Michael Pucci as he enjoyed the band. His daughter, Francesca, said she had fun watching the kettle corn being made but really wanted to walk around to see more of the vendors.
In between shows, the crowds are entertained by the 20th Maine Fife and Drum Civil War re-enactment band. Musicians and re-enactors and Fredonia residents Mark and Mary Deas said all of the drums and fifes are hand-crafted in the U.S. by artisans who make them in the traditional manner of the Civil War era. The drum and fife group will continue to provide entertainment in between acts in the gazebo and main stage through Sunday.
Today, the Children's Pet Show, sponsored by Sirius Dog School, starts at 10 a.m. and continues through noon and is always a popular event.
In addition to food vendors on Church Street, many of the park vendors sold local foods and edible products, such as local honey and grape-based foods. Arts and crafts are plentiful, with a wide variety of jewelry, stitchery, ceramics, paintings, clothing and accessories to suit nearly every style and taste.
Food and handcrafts weren't the only booths to line the park. Many stands are present with information on local services and activities. SUNY Empire State College has an information tent among the crafters and artisans. Academic Adviser Cate McAllister looks forward to the festival every year.
"We like to come out for the people who may not know where we are, and just to be part of the community," she said. "We have graduate students volunteer to come out and talk to people about their experiences with the college and I think that's an important part of outreach."
The fun begins again today and Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. with the opening of the farmer's market. Other vendors begin at 10 a.m. and continue until dusk. Various entertainment will place place throughout each day, with quite a few events aimed at kids. Some of the kids' activities are just for fun, like the obstacle course and finger painting, but other events are geared toward safety and learning, such as Sparky's House of Safety on Church Street from noon to 4 p.m.
The grand parade begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, followed by an antique car show. The event is capped off by the Untouchables on the main stage from 3-6 p.m.
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