by Allison Deutschman
Upon its debut in 2009, PubFest became a fixture at Academy Park in the Village of Lewiston.
Locals came to know this annual summer happening as an enjoyable community affair and a source of some decent entertainment.
For 2014, PubFest has a new name - the Latitude 43 Music Festival - and a new venue - Artpark.
While the all-ages event is slated to grow in size and stature when it takes place in the outdoor amphitheater June 13-15, its role of benefitting others will not change.
The Variety Kids Telethon of Buffalo and Western New York is the chief beneficiary of this annual Lewiston happening and the generosity of the music festival's attendees.
The historically successful PubFest raised more than $80,000, making it the "largest fundraiser for Variety Kids Telethon in the Niagara River region in the past five years," boasts the Variety website.
Variety describes itself as "a Western New York tradition of helping children from all over Western New York." Over the past several decades, it has become well recognized for assisting sick, handicapped and underprivileged youth in the area.
Lewiston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 and New York State Parks also benefit monetarily from this festival.
Ken Scibetta, formerly of The Lewiston Village Pub and co-owner of The Griffon Pub in Niagara Falls, has put in a considerable amount of time and effort in Latitude 43. Over past months, he secured Artpark's outdoor amphitheater, diversified and expanded the concert offerings, and created a whole new image.
With a fresh, new name, revamped website, five national recording artists and nine local acts performing, expectations are high for Latitude 43.
It's an event Scibetta is excited about - one he expects will have wide appeal to the area's eclectic concertgoers and become an enhanced funding vehicle to Variety and other area beneficiary groups.
The festival will feature musical genres with appeal for everyone.
•Joe Louis Walker, Maria Aurigema and Kelley Hunt will perform blues Friday, June 13, at 6 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.
•Clyde, Cue The Sun, Doyle Brothers with Vinnie DeRosa, Mikanecho, Strictly Hip, Whiskey Reverb and The Machine will rock the Artpark stage Saturday, June 14, starting at 2 p.m. Gates open at 1 p.m.
•The Heritage, 90 West, Lyndsey Highland and Eric Paslay will offer country Sunday, June 15, at 1 p.m. Gates open at noon.
•Those who "Like" Niagara Frontier Publications on Facebook this weekend can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Latitude 43 Musical Festival. Visit www.facebook.com/wnypapers.