Preview by Alex Muto
The eighth Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Festival, an annual event held on the Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum grounds, known for its tractor shows, family festivities and rich farm history offerings, is this weekend. The festivities take place on Saturday, July 28, from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 29, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road - just down the road from Niagara County Community College. This year's event not only returns with a grander tractor show than ever before and new-and-improved parades and festivities for the whole family, but also holds the honor of being the central tractor exhibition in New York.
Linda Jackson, the curator for the Farm Museum and co-chairman for the Farm Festival, is excited to announce that the Farm Festival was chosen as the grounds for an important annual tractor convention. She explains, "an international tractors convention from New York state is holding their convention at the festival this year."
Glenn Wienke, co-chairman of the Farm Festival, explains that the convention, an annual event, titled the International Harvester Tour New York State Meet, will showcase a display of tractors. The event is held by the New York State Farmall Group.
The convention will add to the great number of tractors normally brought in for the show. Wienke says, "We will have almost 100 tractors more this year. We usually bring in about 60 just from locals who want to exhibit their tractors, so this will add quite a few to our display."
As Jackson notes, the convention "will be occurring both days, and there be in the tractor parades and display." There are two tractor parades, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The festival will also deliver other favorites with new twists that promise to entertain the entire family. There are two separate breakfasts during the festival this year, and visitors can elect to choose one or attend both. Jackson notes that, "In addition to our regular pancake breakfast Saturday morning, we are having a Sunday morning French toast breakfast as well." Both events are from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and cost $6.
In addition to new food, there will be plenty of new history-themed activities at the festival. This year, musicians that performed at the festival in 2011 will be more closely adhering to the event's historical theme. Wienke notes, "Two performers from last year will be re-enactors this year. They will play historical instruments like fife and drum, and travel around the festival giving demonstrations of these instruments." Visitors can enjoy this historical and musical spectacle at 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Visitors can enjoy shopping at unique sales at the Farm Festival. Jackson notes that, this year, there will be a basket auction. Visitors can purchase tickets throughout the event and at the end of the festival on Sunday, winners will be chosen. Wienke added that the festival council is working on organizing a flea market where visitors can purchase unique goods.
Wienke notes the Farm Museum Festival "is a family affair filled with fun events," and the Farm Museum intends to keep it that way. Kids will enjoy a special petting zoo this year with alpacas, which are making their Farm Festival debut.
There are also opportunities for kids to get creative and start learning to cook the old-fashioned way. Jackson notes there will be demonstrations that allow kids to learn how to churn their own butter. This will be ongoing throughout the festival, so "whenever kids are here, they can try this fun activity out."
Regular visitors also will be pleased with this year's festival's traditional events. Attendees with strong appetites - and strong stomachs - will have fun watching the watermelon and pie-eating contests. The pie-eating contest will take place on Saturday at noon. Wienke notes that the pie of choice at this year's event is cream pie. The watermelon contest will be at noon on Sunday. Visitors can also select many other foods at the baking sales and food vendors open throughout both festival days.
Musical favorites again are part of the festival. The Bout Times Band will perform from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, and on Sunday, the Sanborn Fair Company Band will perform from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Perhaps the festival's musical favorite, Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald, will perform on Saturday at 7 p.m., and promises to be a great evening activity. Wienke and Jackson note that visitors should bring their own lawn chairs for the concert.
Wienke encourages all visitors to view what the festival is really about - maintaining local farm history at the Farm Museum. "The museum will be open the entire festival," he notes, "which is naturally what the festival is about." Jackson adds that, "we have been continuing to grow in the four years that the museum has been here, at this farm." Jackson and Wienke point to an outstanding collection of historical artifacts that the museum preserves and shares with the public. "We have many artifacts and things from farm history in this museum," says Wienke. "Our purpose here is to keep this museum going so we can open the museum to children, tours, and people from all over the country."
Throughout its existence, this festival has become a way to build community in the Sanborn and Lewiston area. As Wienke notes, "During the last eight years since we've began the festival, it has become a way to acquaint people with the community. It's a community fair people really seem to enjoy."
They are confident that the new additions will make the fair an exciting mix of historical activities and traditional fare.
The Farm Museum is grateful to sponsors R.L. Treichler, Modern, The Mill Marketplace, Frank's Marketplace, New Horizon Plumbing, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, George Edwards Jewelers, Grigg Lewis Foundation, Franklin Traffic Service Inc., Heatwave Inc., William Davis Inc., KW Electric, and the Town of Lewiston.
Admission and parking are free.
Saturday, July 28
•Pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m.
•A pie-eating contest will occur at noon
•Watch the tractor parade at 2 p.m.
•The final kids adult pedal tractor race begins at 4 p.m.
•Terry Buchwald performs at 7 p.m.
•Raffle-drawing winners will be announced at 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 29
•French toast breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m.
•The Symetrical Band performs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
•Watermelon contest at noon.
•Sunday's tractor parade begins at 1 p.m.
•Make your own sundae at 1 p.m.
•The Sanborn Fair Company Band performs at 2 until 3:30 p.m.
•Listen for the announcement of winners of basket auction and money raffle at 3:30 p.m.