The 2014 Fredonia Farm Festival's Grand Marshal is Dennis Rak, the owner of Double A Vineyards Inc. The nursery was established in 1990 and has grown to be one of the largest suppliers of grapevine planting stock in the United States.
Rak has built up to what is now 1000 acres of crop, 350 of which are grapes. The additional acreage is home to nursery stock and hybrid shrub willow.
Dennis grew up in Sheridan and is a graduate of Cornell University (1980) with a B.S. degree in horticulture and plant protection. He and his wife, Sue Rak, and two sons, Adam and Abram, now run Double A Vineyards Inc. together.
In addition to running the nursery business, Dennis stays busy as a board member of the National Grape Cooperative and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.
The 46th Annual Farm Festival is scheduled for Aug. 21 to 24 in the East and West parks of Fredonia. The kickoff is the movie "Frozen" which will be shown Thursday at 8 p.m. at Barker Common.
On Friday the opening ceremony is at 9 a.m. At 11 a.m. First United Methodist Church will sell homemade pies and sloppy joes; at 2 p.m. the Rustic Ramblers will perform in the Gazebo; The children's tractor pull is slated for 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., Breakaway will take the Main Stage and play until 10 p.m. The farm market opens at 9 a.m. each day, with arts and crafts available for purchase.
Saturday's schedule includes: 11 a.m.: Children's pet show and Sirius Dog Show; 11 a.m.: First United Methodist Church homemade pies and sloppy joes on Church St.; noon: "Whooman" at the Gazebo; noon: monkey organ grinders; noon to 4 p.m.: Sparky's House of Safety; on Church St., sponsored by the Fredonia Fire Dept.; noon to 4 p.m.: Cracker Jack Farms stage coach rides from the information booth; 12:30 p.m.: pie and cookie judging at the Main Stage; 1 to 5 p.m.: power wheel obstacle course on Day St.; 1 to 5 p.m.: Masonic Lodge Safety ID program on Day St.; 2 p.m.: pie and cookie auction; 2:30 p.m.: Mutt Minister on Park St.; 3:30 p.m.: hula hoop contest; and 7 p.m.: Terry Buchwald on the main stage until 10 p.m.
On both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon, the North Shore Arts Alliance will have a large canvas and a variety of paint at its space near the information booth. Both adults and children are invited to participate in the Graffiti Project. No artistic talent or training is required.
On Sunday, at 1 p.m. the grand parade starts at Risley St.; from 2 to 6 p.m. there will be an antique car show on Church St.; and from 3 to 6 p.m., Creek Bend Band will appear on the Main Stage. The farmers market, vendors, and artists and crafts show will be open every day of the Festival.