Wine, beer and blues music connoisseurs have a reason to celebrate next weekend, as Festivals Fredonia's Red, White and Blues Festival returns to the village of Fredonia for its 19th year.
Festival-goers will have a chance to taste some smooth wines while listening to some equally smooth jazz bands for free as they hop from bar to bar throughout Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6 in downtown Fredonia. Jim Nau, event chair and owner of EBC West, said he is hoping for an appearance from the sun to shine down on attendees as they enjoy the wine and music.
"As one of our taglines says, this is the best street party around," Nau added. "We've got a bunch of different things going on, with different blues bands at different times; it's kind of like every bar has a different band at a different time. The festival will have 11 different blues bands, with six wineries coming to offer wine tastings in various venues."
OBSERVER file photo
The annual Red, White and Blues music festival will run Sept. 5-6.
The festival's events kick off at 6 p.m. on Sept. 5 with local blues group Big TONE Band performing at 6 p.m. at The Liberty Food & Spirits on Prospect Street. Following that performance at 8 p.m., the Fredonia Beaver Club across the street will play host to the Red Rhythm group of Irving.
Saturday is the main day of the Red, White and Blues Festival, with the Fredonia Farmers' Market opening up in Barker Common at 8 a.m. An AMVETS motorcycle run takes place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. to honor those lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001; registration for the bike run is from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Valentine's Place on Water Street.
The annual Taste of Fredonia, put on by the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce, will occur at noon in Barker Common and will showcase some of the most delicious foods from the best restaurants in and around the village.
Beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 3 p.m., Johnson Estate Winery of Westfield will set up wine tastings at Gentleman Jack's Liquor Store on East Main Street, as well as Winery of Ellicottville and Liberty Vineyards & Winery of Sheridan at EBC West on West Main Street.
From 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., three wineries will set up tastings in three different venues. This includes Mazza Vineyards of North East, Pa., at Gentleman Jack's; Merritt Winery of Sheridan at Coughlan's Pub on West Main Street; and 21 Brix Winery of Portland at The White Inn on East Main Street.
Saturday will also see a jam-packed schedule of musicians and bands, starting with the popular Tommy Z Band of Buffalo churning out smooth tunes at 1 p.m. at The White Inn. The Electras of Buffalo will take center-stage at Coughlan's Pub at 2 p.m.
The main headliner of the Red, White and Blues Festival will perform from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Barker Common Gazebo; the headliner this year is the popular Jony James Band out of Buffalo, which will entertain audience members with original survival blues.
As the band's official website states, "Jony James is overflowing with soul. It drips down from his hands onto his guitar, in lyrically urgent bends and intense ethereal assaults. It pours out through his weathered, leathery voice, telling vivid, open-minded tales of a tumultuous life, with his impressive song-writing skills. His jovial, yet pensive nature is evident in both his music and stage presence."
Performances continue afterward with Harvey & The Hurricanes from Williamsville at 5 p.m. in the Eastside Grille on Water Street, then the Mark Winsick Band out of Hamburg at Lil Magill's on Water Street at 6 p.m.
The festival closes out with four additional bands during the evening: Dr. Z and the Blues Remedy in DeJohn's Italian Spaghetti House on West Main Street at 7 p.m.; JTV Blues Band at 8 p.m. in Tully's Irish Pub on Water Street; the popular and "soul-grooving" Teagan and the Tweeds band from Rochester at EBC West at 9 p.m.; and local favorite Gina V and Coal Train as the final band of the evening at Valentine's Place at 10 p.m.
The Red, White and Blues Festival has an official beer sponsor this year: Southern Tier Brewing Company. Corporate sponsors this year include the Fredonia Beaver Club and Robert Basil Chevy-Buick-Cadillac, with platinum sponsors being DFT Communications and Fredonia Animal Hospital.
To learn more about the Red, White and Blues Festival, or Festivals Fredonia in general, visit www.festivalsfredonia.com or "like" the Festivals Fredonia Facebook page.
Comments on this article may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org