Preview by Sarah Dollendorf
If your family is looking for a fun, economically savvy weekend packed with uniquely quirky events that showcase the beauty of our area's history, look no further than the Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum Festival.
Designed to showcase the Sanborn Farm Museum, this ninth annual festival, presented by the Sanborn Area Historical Society, flawlessly extends its purpose each year to unite families with the unconventionally traditional fare of activities, all while thoroughly exhibiting local farm history to visitors.
Kicking off Saturday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to dusk, and continuing on Sunday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Farm Museum Festival, found at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road in Lewiston, is a free admission event and open to all.
Returning to this year's festival is last year's crowd-pleasing Native American Niagara River Dancers and the annual tractor parade, both taking place on Saturday and Sunday due to the overwhelming success of both attractions in years past, mentioned Bonnie Haskell, president of Sanborn Business and Professional Association.
"We obtained a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program so that we could have the Native American Niagara River Dancers, led by Randy Greene, come back for this year's festival," stated Haskell. "Because of the same grant, Rosemary Hill (a renowned beadwork artist originally from the Tuscarora Reservation) is also going to be featuring her work and hosting instructions for hands-on 'jitterbug' beadwork making."
The tractor parade has also become a traditional favorite at the Farm Museum Festival, and returns bigger than ever before. It promises to be "one of the best yet," according to Haskell. "Just like last year, it's grown so popular that we have to have it for two days."
The event itself will consist of approximately 75 tractors that will parade throughout the museum property to showcase farmer's prized possessions to visiting tractor aficionados.
"After the parade on Saturday, visitors of the festival are able to vote for which tractor they like the best. On Saturday, these tractors are awarded a prize. Sunday really is just for fun ... to watch the tractors parade from our property and make a U onto Saunders (Settlement Road) and then back," Haskell said.
Come out and watch these farmers take their tractors for a spin.
Also back this year is the Classic Car Cruise display, which is expected to be another favorite with visitors as it was the year before.
"Last year, a record number of cars signed up to participate, so we were really happy with the turnout. We had to expand the setup just for all of the cars to fit for display," Haskell said. However, this cruise is weather permitting, so depending on the forecast, these cars can be awed at by visitors throughout the festival weekend.
Other events throughout the festival will include the flea market - which is a come-and-go-as-you-please event for vendors, and a bake sale and a basket auction with winners announced at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
In addition, produce vendors will sell local goods, showcasing the Sanborn area's farmers and its history. The museum itself will also be available for festival participants to tour.
The Farm Museum Festival strives to be a family-oriented event; thus, infamous pancake and French toast breakfasts will kick off each day at the festival, and kids will be able to dig away in the "world's largest sandbox" for some fun in the sun and in the sand.
On Sunday, there will be a make-your-own-sundae event at 1 p.m. for $2, plus a variety of music offered both days at the festival for everyone to enjoy.
From a toe-tapping blend of southern country rock to local Sanborn bands and an appearance from the "King of Rock" himself, everyone's musical taste will be satisfied as they experience the beauty of Sanborn and all that the Farm Museum Festival has to offer. 'Bout Time, a local classic rock cover group with ties to blues, southern and country rock and folk music, will take the stage on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. - the first musical group to appear at this year's festival.
Terry Buchwald, the "King" himself, will entertain with Elvis hits from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., rockin' and rollin' the crowd to benefit the community, as visitors of the festival are requested to bring non-perishable food for a food pantry in order to see Elvis in action.
Fireworks are back to the tune of Elvis under the stars at 9:30 p.m., as he will kick off the new explosive feature to the festival with a patriotic ballad, captivating the audience to crave more of Sanborn for Sunday's musical feats.
The Symmetrical Band will present their unique style to kick off the day, and the traditionally American patriotic fife and drum will bring festivalgoers back to this nation's historical past. The Sanborn Fire Co. Band will end the festival with their senior military-style concert and marching band.
Remember to bring your lawn chairs to comfortably enjoy the event and the weekend's activities.
To help make this event possible, volunteers are needed for set up. For information on how to become involved, or for more information about the festival, contact Haskell at 990-6909, or visit the Sanborn Farm Museum website at www.sanbornhistory.org.
The Farm Museum Festival is sponsored and made possible by the Arts Service Initiative of Western New York, New York State Council of the Arts, Sanborn Business and Professional Association, Grigg-Lewis Foundation, David Insurance, KW Electric, Franklin Traffic Service, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, H.A. Treichler & Sons Greenhouses, Pynn & Sons Plumbing, Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co., the Town of Lewiston, Frank's Market Place, Rhoney Funeral Homes and Jay Wendt Construction.