Pride of Chautauqua draws hundreds
MAYVILLE – There were two goats, a herd of bunnies and a flock of chickens.
Throw in some wine and chocolate milk, and don’t forget the giant fake cow with interactive udders.
Hundreds of local residents turned out Sunday for the sixth-annual “Pride of Chautauqua” farming show at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. The event, organized by the Chautauqua Farm Bureau, is designed as a “try local, buy local” function to highlight the county’s deep agricultural roots.
“We grow every year,” said Karen Barie, Pride of Chautauqua committee chairwoman and Farm Bureau vice president. “We think this is a great way to show what it means to live in Chautauqua County.”
More than 45 vendors were present Sunday, some selling baked goods and plants, while another demonstrated how to preserve foods through canning. One vendor even served goat meat.
“Residents can talk to the people who are out there in the fields growing this food,” Barie said. “I’m very pleased how this has all come together every year. I can’t say enough of this group.”
Popular locations in the show, not surprisingly, included livestock. Rachael Harper of Jamestown, posed for numerous photographs while holding a goat.
Mackenzy Graziano, meanwhile, showed off some rabbits. Harper and Graziano are members of local 4-H groups involving animals.
“This is a great way to show people how important farming is around here,” said Kari O’Brien of the 4-H Goat Committee.
Also present Sunday was Andrew Dufresne, executive director of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt. Dufresne was promoting the Grape Discovery Center, set to open next month as a tourism spot.
“This is a great grape-growing region, and we hope this center will draw people here,” he said.
State Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, secured more than $1 million in capital investment funding five years ago for the project. Dufresne said the center will include arts and crafts, wine tasting and exhibit rooms and a patio facing a vineyard.
The group remodeled a former car dealership on West Main Road in Westfield where the center will be located.
“We hope this will be a spot for tourists to come and understand how important agriculture is here,” Dufresne said.