The 17th annual Red, White & Blues Festival kicks off Friday night in the Village of Fredonia with music and festivities slated to continue through Saturday night.
The annual celebration showcases local flavors of red and white wines, local brews and blues bands with vendors, including several local wineries, and free music in the park and throughout village venues.
At 6 p.m. Friday night, the music begins with Big Tone Blues at Liberty Food and Spirits. At 8 p.m., Red Rhythm will perform at the Beaver Club.
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Panebianco
The Crooners performed Thursday night at the Dunkirk Harbor as part of the city’s Music on the Pier series. It was the final act of the year. The concert series regularly drew hundreds of fans of music for a night out by the lake.
For the first time, a costume contest will be held this year. Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite blues celebrity, either individually or as a group. Contest entry forms are available in the park on Saturday. Judging begins at 2 p.m.
Fredonia Village Mayor Stephen Keefe will be a judge for the contest.
"I don't take bribes, but I'm going to be a judge," he said.
Keefe, a B. B. King fan, aid he likes the idea of the costume contest. He said he could imagine several local residents as the likes of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan or many of the female blues singers, including those whose music crossed over into rock, like Janis Joplin. "I think all you need is a nice hat, and a bit of an attitude and you can be a bluesy person."
Saturday also features the AmVets 409 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Motorcycle Run, which begins at 11:30. Registration is at 10 a.m.
Those who aren't participating in the bike run are encouraged to come out and support riders at each of the roughly 30 minute stops at military and fire clubs around the county. After leaving Valentine's at 11:30 a.m., the group is stopping at Dunkirk Exempts on Central and Second Street in Dunkirk. The group will next head west on Route 5, then south on Route 60 into Cassadaga. Around 12:30 p.m., the first stop of the run is expected to take place at the American Legion in Cassadaga. The planned route will next take the group to War Vets Recreation, Inc. in Jamestown around 1:30 p.m. Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the group will stop at Crossroads for 45 minutes before returning to Fredonia.
LeeAnn Lazarony, mayor of Cassadaga said, "The AmVets remembrance bike run, which is part of the Red White and Blues Festival, is due to arrive in Cassadaga at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and go to the American Legion. It would be nice to get the word out so that the people from the village could greet them, maybe with American flags, when they came into town."
Also on Saturday, the 14th Annual Taste of Fredonia will be held in conjunction with the festival from noon to 7 p.m. in the Barker Common. This event is sponsored by the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce and will offer a variety of food sampling choices from local restaurants. A "best-of" award will be given to the restaurant which obtains the most votes from festival-goers.
Mayor Keefe said he likes to attend the festival very much every year. "Great village, great music and great food to eat. Just a great time to be in Fredonia."
9 a.m. Fredonia Farmer's Market and additional vendors
10 a.m. AMVETS 409 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Motorcycle Run. Registration in front of Valentine's
11:30 a.m. Kickstands up for the motorcycle run
1:30 p.m. Gina V and the 3rd Degree Blues at Squire Whites at the White Inn
2 p.m. The Electras at Coughlan's Pub
3 p.m. Harvey and The Hurricanes at East Side Grill
3:30 p.m. Mark Winsick Band at Lil Magill's
4 p.m. Easy Street Sliders in the Gazebo
7 p.m. Dr. Z and the Blues Remedies and DeJohn's Italian Spaghetti House
8 p.m. Red Rhythm at 41 West
9 p.m. Jony James Band at Ellicottville Brew Company
9:30 p.m. Lissy K & Royal Teez at Valentine's
Diane Chodan, Staff Writer, also contributed to this article. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.