MOOVE ON DOWN — This year Springville’s Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival is hoping to bring in more Buffalo-area residents to see what Southtowns farmers have to offer. The festival will offer a farmers market and activities for gardeners, as well as a parade, rides, music and other festivities. It will be held Friday through Sunday, June 6-8 in downtown Springville.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville’s Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival is looking to bring in people from the Buffalo area who can be consumers of the new products that Southtowns farmers have available.
The festival, which has promoted local farmers for 25 years, will be held Friday through Sunday, June 6-8, in downtown Springville.
Holly Haddad, treasurer for the festival, told me that in recent years, many local farmers have left the dairy business and have turned to other agricultural products, such as growing greens and producing honey.
That’s why the festival is aiming to connect farmers with restaurant chefs from the city, as well as with individuals who are looking for the local foods and organic foods that area farmers can offer.
It fits into the locavore movement, which tries to sell food close to where it was grown, in an effort to decrease fuel consumption and cut down on pollution.
“You don’t have to use tons of gas just to get fresh produce,” Haddad said, adding that it’s another way people can go green. Consumers are also looking for organic foods, which many local farmers offer.
To show Buffalo area residents what local farmers have to offer, festival planners are looking to expand their vendors and have farmers sell products such as organic items, plants, flowers, cheese, honey and maple syrup. The farmers market runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Get an early bird rate of $40, if you register before April 1; the fee is $50 after April 1.
The festival is also trying to draw more people from the Buffalo area by offering activities for gardeners, and I’m thrilled that I’ve been invited to present “45 Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes” will be on at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Concord Town Hall, located at 86 Franklin St. in Springville. I’ll share some of the best tips I’ve come across, while interviewing home gardeners and gardening experts. I have to cover one tip per minute, so it will be exciting to see if I can squeeze them all in!
The planners also hope to offer a series of lectures on how to best use farm products, in the home.
“We want it to be an informational event,” Haddad said.
The festival organizers are currently looking for speakers. If you would like to speak or know of someone who would be a good speaker, you can contact Joan Taylor, chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 592-4654. You can find a list of other festival committee members and their contact information at www.wnydairyagfest.com
Last year, the event drew more than 12,000 people, but in the past it drew crowds of 25,000, Haddad said.
“It has ebbed, but we’re trying to rejuvenate it,” Haddad said. The organizers are also seeking sponsors.
The theme for this year’s festival is “Thank you, farmers!” The festival takes over the downtown Springville area and includes musical entertainment, a huge parade, amusement rides, a large food court, fireworks, health fair, crafts and trade show and many other contests and activities.