Preview by Alicia Wainwright
Pubfest 2012 is set for June 15-17 and promises to be bigger and better than ever.
"It's going to be gigantic, this year is by far the biggest ever," said Ken Scibetta, founder of Pubfest and co-owner of the Lewiston Village Pub on Center Street.
Now in its fourth year, the money raised at Pubfest will again go to the Variety Kids Telethon.
Proceeds will also benefit Lewiston No. 1 Volunteer Fire Co., the Lewiston Police Department and the Village of Lewiston.
The Variety Kids Telethon benefits the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the Robert Warner M.D. Center for Children with special needs, SABAH, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Niagara Falls HANCI Variety Peace Camp, St. Mary's School for the Deaf, Cradle Beach and Make-A-Wish.
"My family has been involved with Variety Telethon for over 30 years," Scibetta said. "I grew up in a household that was always all about (the) Variety Kids Telethon."
When Scibetta's nieces were born premature, he was able to see firsthand the benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo had on his family and families like his.
"How it helped my family was just an amazing thing," he said.
Scibetta noticed a lack of fundraising for the Variety Kids Telethon in Niagara County and brought forth the idea to hold a fundraising event in the village.
"I wanted this to be different," he said. "I wanted it to be more interactive where people got something for the money they were donating. And so Pubfest was born."
What started in 2009 as a six-hour event with six bands and a beer tent has grown to a weekend-long festival. Pubfest 2012 will include 13 bands, local food vendors, a classic car show, amusement rides and games, a kids zone, pony rides and, of course, a giant beer tent. A first for Pubfest this year will be fireworks on Friday night at dusk.
"Our goal this year is - to a degree - the same idea that Pubfest has always been: a very family-fun event, free admission. But it's going to rival the Peach Festival this year in fun activities and size," Scibetta said.
Over the past three years, Pubfest has raised more than $50,000 for Variety Kids. In the process, it has become the largest Variety Kids Telethon fundraiser in the Niagara River Region.
Visit http://www.lewistonvillagepubfest.com/ for a complete list of activities.
Pubfest 2012 is brought to you by the following: (presenting sponsors) Certo Brothers Distributing, Niagara University, Modern Corporation, GDT Consultants, Lewiston Web Solutions, Niagara Frontier Publications, Red Bull and Lewiston Music; plus (celebrity child sponsor) Favorites Pizza; and ("Big Heart" sponsors) Robert Restaino and Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center.