by Alex Muto
Summer is always the time to reconnect with neighbors, and the Town of Newfane has offered the perfect opportunity for a local reunion for 26 years. The Newfane Town Celebration originated as a Fireman's Field Day, and when the Newfane Fire Co. stopped involvement in the event, the Newfane Business Association took over.
It has become a perfect opportunity to combine marketing with mingling.
"The Newfane Business Association took the event over, since we wanted to get people onto Main Street to get to know businesses, and shop a little bit, and come out and have a good time," notes Sue Neidlinger, proprietor of Shoppe on Main. "The event has become a summer family event. Many people wait until this weekend to have relatives and friends come in for family reunions, since this is a good time to catch up with everyone."
This year, get ready to meet up with friends and family from the community during the Newfane Bike Night on Friday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. and the main Town Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stop by Main Street in Newfane on Friday evening to experience the roar of motorcycles roll onto Main Street and hear great rock and roll music. The seventh annual bike cruise promises to offer something for the entire family. "We have food, drink, rock and roll and a whole lot of motorcycles coming!" announces Neidlinger.
She adds the festivities are becoming more spectacular each year. "We had over 1,000 motorcycles parked on Main Street last year. It seems to get bigger and better every year!"
Bike Night includes a variety of motorcycle-themed activities. "We always have a couple of vendors to sell biker-brand clothing and items (as well)," says Neidlinger. This year's themed vendors will include biker clothing and leather and lace.
The event extends beyond its name, and offers a variety of local foods and music the Newfane community can come out to support and appreciate. Food vendors include Bill Mongeon, who will offer beef brisket and pulled pork dinners; the Newfane Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary, which will serve sausage and tacos-in-a-bag; Wilson's Pizzeria, which will have a pizza tent in front of its store; and J&D Enterprises, which will sell nuts and snacks. Beer will be sold to those of age, and soda is also available. The Weights will be performing an eclectic mix of rock and roll music.
But the festivities aren't finished after Bike Night. On Saturday at 11 a.m., the fair's vendors, market and activities will open shop and the beloved parade will commence on McKee Street near the Newfane Town Highway Garage. The route extends north on Main Street until Ketchum Avenue.
The parade is where most visitors head first, according to Neidlinger and Laura Rutland, a Newfane Business Association member who coordinates the parade. Rutland predicts there will be "up to 45 units in the parade," showcasing Newfane's many business, social, and food staples. Rutland says, "The floats come from local businesses and group organizations," making the parade a family-friendly way to experience all Newfane has to offer.
"People will be throwing out candy and treats for the kids from the floats, and fire trucks will be participating," Rutland says, "and Jim Sansone and the Sophisticats of the Newfane area will perform. It's going to be a fun time for everyone involved."
Following the parade, visitors can head over to Main Street (Route 78), where friends, families, and neighbors will enjoy a mix of festival favorites and new events together. Returning is a number of popular vendors, flea markets, and craft sales.
Wendy Wilson, co-owner of Wilson's Pizzeria and the vendor application reviewer for the event, expects many to participate. "I predict close to 55 vendors (to sign up) by the time deadlines arrive," she said.
The 30 vendors already committed will feature a variety of items, including but not limited to "jewelry, glass, folk art, hair accessories, and bird feeders," according to Wilson.
And, food vendors will be abundant. Wilson and Neidlinger point to the barbecue chicken sale at Niagara Methodist Church. It's "one of the most popular food events at the festival," according to Neidlinger.
Attendees with a sweet tooth will be excited about the celebration's newest event. "There will be an ice cream-eating contest beginning this year, hosted by Scotchie's Ice Cream, a new shop on Main Street," Neidlinger said.
Other games and festivities will be available to families as well. Wilson reports there will again be a dunk tank coming this year, hosted by Newfane Leo's Club, a service organization. Wilson notes that the dunk tank staging area will be decked out with fun activities for the whole family. "They will be selling cotton candy nearby and having little games and things like that for kids," she says. The event also benefits the community, as "the money for the event goes to the group, a non-profit (service) group," adds Wilson.
For more information, contact Neidlinger at 716-778-5273.