Family and friends will have a chance to enjoy a weekend of music, food and shopping during the Rotary Club of Niagara County Central's 27th annual Olde Sanborn Days, to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 9, at the Sanborn Fire Co. grounds, 5811 Buffalo St. (Route 429).
Live performances will range from line dancing to a Japanese drum performance, all on an outdoor stage throughout the weekend, while a variety of other activities will be offered.
"There's a lot of different types of entertainment," said Pat Sullivan of the Rotary Club of Niagara County Central, chairman of Olde Sanborn Days.
"And, of course, there's the big basket auction that our Rotary Club runs inside the firehall," he added.
During the family-oriented event, crafters will also sell a variety of items. The lineup of products stretches both inside the firehall, which will be air-conditioned, and outside.
Representatives of the Association for Wild Animal Rehabilitation and Education will also be on hand with various wildlife.
While visitors browse the offerings at Olde Sanborn Days, they can stop and enjoy some chowder sold by the Sanborn Fire Co. starting at 11 a.m. "until it's gone," Sullivan said.
Rotarians will also be manning the grill, cooking up hot dogs and offering a variety of other food.
New this year, a Unyts blood drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. To schedule an appointment, visit www.unytsblooddonor.org
and enter the sponsor code 002136, or call 716-512-7940.
On Sunday, a car cruise will also be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"Anybody that's got a hot rod, custom car or anything along that line," can participate, Sullivan said. Even antique tractors are welcome, he added.
Perhaps one of the more unique offerings at Olde Sanborn Days will be the live chainsaw art show, presented by the Lewiston Council on the Arts.
Sarah Winter, of the group Chainsaw Chix, will carve sculptures out of wood with a chainsaw from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
"Along with all of the crafts and the music and the delicious food and the animals and everything, there is this chainsaw screaming in the background," LCA Artistic Director Eva Nicklas said.
She added, "I think it adds another dimension, because they've got the crafts, and there are some beautiful crafts that they sell, but this is art in motion."
Over the years, many chainsaw artists have shown off their talents at Olde Sanborn Days.
"They work so hard and it's just awesome to watch these artists in action," Nicklas said. "It's kind of like performance art. It's very cool. And they're there for the whole weekend in Sanborn."
She added, "Because Sanborn is a rural community, it just seemed like the chainsaw art really was a good fit for that festival, and it has been."
Nicklas explained the LCA initially wanted to contribute to Olde Sanborn Days because, "The Town of Lewiston supports Lewiston Council on the Arts very generously - and we do a lot of events in the village - but we wanted to reach out to the more outer parts of Lewiston and the town. So, we reached out to Olde Sanborn Days, (which) was already an established festival. We brought a chainsaw artist to Olde Sanborn Days quite a few years ago and, actually, over the years, we've become very dear friends with the Rotarians that run that festival. And it gives us an opportunity to take our events farther outside our community. So we do it every year."
Sullivan said Olde Sanborn Days was formed to offer another event to the community after the Sanborn Fire Co. stopped holding its field days events 27 years ago.
"We felt there was a void in the community at that time of the year for a family-type event. And that's the reason we formed (Olde Sanborn Days)," Sullivan said. "And, actually, there was not much going on in the area when we started 27 years ago. Now there's a lot of events on the same weekend, but we've kept it that way for the purpose there was a void."
Another benefit Olde Sanborn Days provides to the community is that it serves as a fundraiser for scholarships for local students.
"It gives the people some place to go on the weekend, but, because of the service the Rotary Club does for the community, this is one way of collecting the funds instead of going out and knocking on (people's) doors with all these different fundraisers," Sullivan said. "We try to do it in a very limited number of fundraisers."
Overall, he said, putting on the event "is a lot of work, but it is fun to be there and do it, especially when you see all the kids and parents going around for the day."