Old-time traditions

The village of Fredonia is ready for the 45th annual Fredonia Farm Festival. This Friday through Sunday, experience the event at Barker Common in the center of the village and take part in a local event that honors the classic tradition of a town fair.

The farm festival relies on the generosity of local merchants, organizations and individuals for support to keep it a yearly August event.

A merchant of note is DeGolier Maple, which will give out gluten-free blueberry buckwheat pancakes on Saturday morning. The blueberries are grown on their farm in Forestville.

“We do pancakes to promote healthy eating,” Christina DeGolier said, explaining that people, especially children and college students, are often shocked at the fact that the pancakes are both free and gluten free.

“It’s great to see smiles on their faces,” she added.

Thomas E. DeGolier, born and raised on the family farm on Hopper Road, is the second generation to produce maple syrup locally and the seventh generation of DeGoliers in maple production. He and his wife, Christina, make maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cream, granulated maple sugar and maple vinegar and sell them at the Fredonia Farmer’s Market every weekend.

“It’s really a comradery that has been lost through the years,” Mrs. DeGolier said of the market. “When people live in a community they rely on each other for certain things and when people buy local, they’re supporting local farmers.”

You can find DeGolier Maple this weekend on the corner of Day Street, across from the post office.

The event honors the area’s farm history by offering a marketplace for arts and crafts, local produce and farmers such as the DeGoliers. In addition, there is music in the park, animal shows, a car show and a parade on Sunday.

There will be 127 vendors in Barker Common along with several musical performances. There are also contests such as a pie eating contest, hula hoop competition and several opportunities for children to participate.

A children’s tractor pull takes place on Friday along with a children’s pet show on Saturday morning sponsored by Sirius the Dog School. Also, there is a power wheel obstacle course and safety identification program for children, both put on by the Masonic Lodge. There will be a kid’s cookie contest which will be judged on Saturday afternoon.

As chairwoman of the event’s committee for five years, Melissa Thompson said she has seen the festival grow in attendance over the course of her involvement. The committee strives to make the Fredonia Farm Festival better and better each year.

“We’re bringing back the old-time traditions,” Thompson said of the growing popularity of local events.

The most anticipated performance of the weekend will be Beatlemania Now, a popular tribute band which plays on Friday at 7 p.m.

Thompson said, “This is bigger than we’ve ever had,” adding that Beatlemania Now usually plays for average crowds of more than 10,000. Another notable performer is Terry Buchwald, an Elvis impersonator who Thompson said always brings a big crowd. Eighties tribute band Hit N’ Run will perform on Sunday.

The Farm Festival Committee is always seeking support, certificates of merchandise and volunteers, even if dedicating just a few hours of time. If you are interested, contact Thompson at 969-7451.