Festival highlights past
Get ready for more live music and a wider variety of activities for the second annual Fredonia History Days on Friday and Saturday at Barker Common.
“We’ve added some more musical entertainment this year on Saturday,” FHD Chairman Todd Langworthy said. “That seemed to be one of the things people liked last year was having the music, so we brought some performers that were gracious enough to perform for reasonable fees. We also have Channel 7’s Mike Randall on Saturday morning at noon doing his Mike Randall and Friends Puppet Show. That’s bringing in a well-known performer to the festival.”
Among the bands coming to the festival, Lemon 12 will rock the audience with acoustic music from the ’60s to today. Lemon 12 will be playing from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the gazebo and features Rik MacKenzie, Pete Majka and Eli Tederous.
After Lemon 12, the seven-membered Allegheny Crossing will mosey on down for some music from the Victorian era, right up through the 20th century.
“They’re really like an old-time string band that does a lot of different kinds of folk-dance music,” Langworthy said. “We’re real lucky to get them to perform because they’re a specialty group. They don’t perform a lot as a group. They’re individuals that kind of go out and perform in different groups.”
Allegheny Crossing features Dick and Carmen Gilman, who reside in Fredonia. Langworthy also said they will play swing-style and even square dance-esque tunes.
This will be the second year Festivals Fredonia, Inc. will be putting on FHD, which used to be known as the Victorian Dazzle. The non-profit organization has a mission to “contribute to a high quality of life in Fredonia and surrounding communities by presenting lively, varied recreation and cultural opportunities to village and area residents” and “to stimulate outside interest and tourism,” according to its website.
“The performers recognize that and their pricing is really reflective of that,” Langworthy said. “They really help us in being able to put this on.”
If people are unable to get their fill of music on Saturday, or they have a large appetite for it, there will be more the day before, Friday, in the form of music from the ’50s.
“The Untouchables are a repeat from last year and play for our classic car show from 6 to 9 p.m.,” Langworthy said. “They’re very popular with car show enthusiasts because they play at a number of shows throughout Western New York. They play music from the era of the classic cars that go to those shows. We were very happy to bring them back this year.”
Registration for the car show is free and starts at 5 p.m. on Friday.
FHD will especially be exciting for younger folks. Several activities will be available for children Saturday morning as they wait for the Mike Randall and Friends Puppet Show.
From 10 a.m. until noon, “Party Ponies” pony rides will be available for the kids who wish to take a ride along the park. A tie-dyeing party is also planned to keep children of all ages busy. T-shirts will be available for $2 at the party.
“We also have some of our commemorative red, white and blue shirts in adult sizes so if the parents want to come down, they can get one of these and tie-dye it too and have fun with the kids,” Langworthy said.
Not only will there be entertainment for the kids, but people interested in Fredonia’s history will have a fair share of activities, as well.
“Something different we have this year is the Civil War medicine display and lecture by Joe Bolivard, who is from Forestville,” Langworthy said. “From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, he will have a huge assortment of artifacts, many of which are actual pieces from the era of the war.”
Also back from previous years are the historical trolley tours.
“These are horse-drawn carriage tours,” Langworthy said. “They used to be ghost tours, but we’ve changed it a little bit to include history with a historian, myself, as the guide. It’ll be very informational and story-centered.”
Tours will run every hour from 7 to 10 p.m. on both festival days. Tickets are very limited, so people wishing to reserve their space can go online at www.festivalsfredonia.com.
Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe will also be on hand from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday for walking tours of the village.
“Steve will be doing those in-costume as Mark Twain,” Langworthy said. “People can buy tickets for that right at the information booth for $3, but those are limited, as well. It will be a short 30- to 45-minute walk. He’s going around the downtown area talking about some of the businesses and buildings and some of the stories of Fredonia.”
Back at Barker Common, history buffs will be able to see displays from the Chautauqua County Historical Organiza-tion. Expected groups are the town of Pomfret, Sheridan Historical Society, town of Arkwright, towns of Harmony and Panama, the WCA Home, the Project: Underground railroad map of Chautauqua County, the Dunkirk Historical Society, Fredonia Grange No. 1 and the Robert H. Jackson Center of Jamestown.
Finally, what festival would be complete without a wide assortment of food vendors? With expanded hours for the Fredonia Farmer’s Market, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, as well as a various assortment of food vendors behind the gazebo on both days, there is sure to be something for everyone.
All events are expected to go on as planned, rain or shine. Proceeds will go toward event expenses. Any questions regarding the festival can be directed to Langworthy at 410-1527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.