by Alexandra Muto
Olde Sanborn Days, an annual local old-fashioned country fair and craft show sponsored by the Niagara County Central Rotary, returns on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presented in partnership with the Lewiston Council on the Arts, the event will be held on the Sanborn Volunteer Fire Co. grounds, 5811 Buffalo St., Route 429 in Sanborn.
Offering free workshops and demonstrations throughout the weekend, the fair's diverse array of traditional and new events promises to make the 21st edition one of the most fun-filled Olde Sanborn Days thus far.
"It is a pleasure for the Rotary Club of Niagara County Central to partner with Lewiston Council on the Arts to present this day of enjoyment for families in the park", said Pat Sullivan, chairman of Olde Sanborn Days.
This year's Olde Sanborn Days includes past favorites that will once again thrill fair visitors. Those with an adventurous spirit will not be disappointed, as a chainsaw artist will again be visiting, with live sculpture demonstrations during the festivities. This year's chainsaw artist is Brian Ruth, a founding member of Masters of the Chainsaw, a national group of chainsaw sculptors, who has performed since 1979.
And a recent addition to Olde Sanborn Days, "Toast & Jam," an open mic event for singers and musicians hosted by local entertainer Dale Campbell, will return as well. Those seeking more classic fair offerings can enjoy the food stands, petting zoo, basket auctions, and live entertainment.
Olde Sanborn Days also will display a wonderful group of eclectic art exhibits, reports the LCA. More than 80 crafters and three resident artists will be in attendance with demonstrations. The resident artists will preserve the festival's legacy of excellent art while expanding its visual and cultural repertoire. The special artists in residence program is made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, reports the LCA.
This year's resident artists include Erwin Printup, an illustrator who will paint murals and present an educational Native American art show, the aforementioned chainsaw artist Brian Ruth, and William Y. Cooper, an artist who will create a "movable" mural on-site. The three artists will offer visitors the opportunity to explore a wide variety of unique art reflecting the local area.
One particularly unique presentation at this year's event will be Cooper's painting of a moveable mural on-site. Cooper reported that the Lewiston Council on the Arts had asked him to "perform painting a mural for an audience" by incorporating a theme of farming. Cooper is expected to complete a 4-by-8-foot mural of a historical rural marketplace for Olde Sanborn Days visitors.
He pointed to an interest in comparing his experiences with urban marketplaces to those of rustic marketplaces of the past, like those in Sanborn. He explains that when complete the mural will be a "realistic (depiction of past marketplaces in Sanborn), not abstract at all," and the mural will be "colorful," as "people like (to view) colorful produce, the oranges... all kinds of things in the produce market. I am a very colorful artist," says Cooper.
He feels completing the mural will be an exciting challenge. "I am not accustomed to painting in front of an audience. It should be fun." He also looks forward to viewing the wide array of other art expected at the fair.
In addition to the many art expositions, a number of interesting displays and demonstrations are expected to add to this fair's appeal for visitors. The Niagara County Sheriff's Office will display its helicopter, weather permitting, and visitors will be able to see the K-9 unit in action. Included will be information on the activities and use of the K-9 unit as well as the various law enforcement activities of the NCSO.
In addition, area high school clubs will be visiting, with activities of interest for local children. And representatives of Upstate New York Transplant Services will offer a blood and plasma drive on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donors will receive a coupon to Jim's Steakout to celebrate the 30th anniversary of both Upstate New York Transplant Services and Jim's Steakout. Those interested can schedule an appointment with firstname.lastname@example.org
Also of interest, on Saturday and Sunday between 2 and 3 p.m., Olde Sanborn Days will feature a patriotic element with a U.S. flag retirement ceremony.
Other highlights of Olde Sanborn Days:
Saturday, July 9
•Noon - Step in Time performs.
•1 p.m. - The Niagara Fiddler's Club performs.
•2 p.m. -The Lockport Community Band will play music and AWARE Wildlife Rehabilitation will present a half-hour demonstration on rehabilitating injured animals back into the wilderness.
•3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -Dale Campbell's Toast & Jam open mic session.
Sunday, July 10
•11 a.m. - Dale Campbell's "Toast & Jam" open mic.
•Noon - High Noon performs.
•1 p.m. - The Sanborn Fire Co. band will perform. The AWARE Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will also repeat their demonstration at this time.
•2 p.m. - The Hot Country Line Dancers perform.
•3 p.m. - Niagara Experience Players, a group of local children and adults, will present puppet shows.
With activities to suit all interests, Olde Sanborn Days promises a little something for everyone. The fair will provide "a lot of activity," to please all age groups, making the fair an ideal weekend for families, said Sullivan.
All proceeds for the event will assist the Niagara County Central Rotary's scholarship and contribution funds.
For more information, contact Sullivan at 693-1946.