by Alexandra Muto
Enjoy an old-fashioned country fair and craft show at the 22nd Olde Sanborn Days next weekend.
Sponsored by the Niagara County Rotary Club and Lewiston Council on the Arts, the event is set for Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Sanborn Volunteer Fire Co. grounds, 5811 Buffalo St., Route 429, in Sanborn.
For those with an adventurous spirit, the Lewiston Council on the Arts will once again present a chainsaw artist's live sculpture demonstration. Brian Ruth, a founding member of the Masters of the Chainsaw, a national group of chainsaw sculptors formed in 1979, will perform during both days of the event.
An Auto Cruise-In with various tractors, cars and vehicles once again glides into the fire company grounds on Sunday from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. According to Pat Sullivan, chairman for Olde Sanborn Days, the show usually boasts a turnout of more than 100 vehicles and is a very exciting event.
Those desiring more classic festival fare will enjoy many other "big drawing factors," including performances by the Lockport Community Band on Saturday at 2 p.m. and the Sanborn Fire Company Band on Sunday at 1 p.m., the Boy Scouts' flag retirement ceremony on Saturday at 3 p.m., a basket auction on Sunday at 3 p.m., and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office helicopter landing at 1 p.m. on Saturday (weather permitting).
Traditional activities will be expanded this year. For instance, Sullivan and Entertainment Chairman Kevin Maerten explain that this year's Boy Scouts flag retirement ceremony will offer a comprehensive view of the entire process of retiring a flag in conjunction with a performance by the Lockport Community Band.
Sullivan enthusiastically states, "U.S. flag retirement ceremonies ... (are) very moving. Many people have not seen the whole program and speeches that go with it, or an explanation of how the ceremony goes."
Maerten said that a greater number and diversity of musicians than ever before will perform at the festival, including Tony Pedulla, a local singer who will perform Sinatra and Martin classics on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Seafood fanatics can anticipate even more than the fair's great chowder this year, Maerten said. A new seafood vendor, Seas the Day Seafood, will serve "new seafood (and other dishes) that have never been offered before," including coconut shrimp, crab cakes, fish 'n' chips, fried festival food, and cheesesteaks.
In addition to food and festivities, patrons will never tire of the fair's crafts, artwork, and auctions. Sullivan explains that during the auctions, new items will always be available for bid, since "100 baskets or more will be up for auction," and crafters come from many artistic backgrounds and hometowns. As Sullivan emphasizes, the fair's craft show has "a big drawing crowd," with crafters coming from places as varied as Buffalo, the Southern Tier, Rochester, and throughout Western New York.
Visitors will have the opportunity to admire and purchase unique items each time, and at each basket auction, most of the vendors and crafters donate special items to be put in the drawing auction. The many timeless, unique artworks available for viewing and sale make each year's Olde Sanborn Days worth attending.
One entirely unique and unprecedented event at Olde Sanborn Days will be Solid Gold Productions' Game Show Mania. As Maerten explains, "Definitely the newest event of interest is Game Show Mania." On Sunday throughout the day, selected visitors will be able to participate in a number of games, challenges, and answer various trivia questions posed by the game show company. They will have the chance to win many prizes.
The festival's development over its 22-year history has made the event a great success in Sanborn, and its new offerings this year promise to keep this tradition alive. Sullivan notes that the festival has provided Niagara County with "something fun to do in July, a family-oriented affair that offers something for everyone."
Festival parking and admission are free. Proceeds for the event will be donated to the Niagara County Central Rotary's scholarship and contribution funds. A complete schedule of events will be available in next week's Niagara-Wheatfield Tribune.