By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL
OBSERVER Staff Writer
A little rain could not stop the blues. The 17th Annual Red, White and Blues Festival was held this weekend.
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Harvey and The Hurricanes played at the East Side Grill Saturday afternoon as part of Red, White and Blues Festival. Numerous bands played at various bars throughout the day.
The event started Friday and ended Saturday with bands in and around downtown Fredonia. The Red, White and Blues Festival is sponsored by Festivals Fredonia. Despite the colder temperatures and some rain, the festival went on.
Going on simultaneously as the festival was the Taste of Fredonia sponsored by the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce. This was the 14th year the Taste has been held. Due to the weather, however, some vendors canceled Saturday morning. Four of the eight vendors braved the weather, and after a rain delay, were handing out samples. Each sample required between two and four tickets which were purchased prior to sampling. All proceeds from the event went to the Chamber.
DeJohn's Spaghetti House, Kathy's Confections, The Liberty and Pizza Hut handed out food including peanut butter pie, pizza and mini cannolis.
"People are enjoying the food," Heidi Seddon of the Chamber said.
Due to the weather, both the Chamber and Festivals Fredonia said it affected attendance. Christine Burdick, chair for Red, White and Blues, said many vendors canceled this morning due to weather.
"Hopefully as the weather improves, more people will come out," Burdick said.
As the sun did start to come out, more people showed up just in time for the main event, Easy Street Sliders which performed in the Barker Common gazebo. The Sauce Boss was not a part of the festival this year.
"We had (the Sauce Boss) two years in a row. We wanted something different," Cathy Gilvin of Festivals Fredonia said.
Even though more people did attend later in the afternoon, the event was "no where near as crowded" as last year, Gilvin said.
"Every year the weather has been good. This is the first year we've had bad weather," Seddon said.
Gina V and the 3rd Degree Blues were forced to play inside Squire Whites instead of the normal outside venue. Marshall Seddon, who has played for 14 years in the festival, played under the gazebo to keep dry.
Also part of this year's event was the Amvets Memorial 9/11 Remembrance Run. This is the third year of the run and due to weather, about six motorcycles took part in the run in addition to some cars.
New this year, was a costume contest for the festival. The winning costume was the Blues Brothers, made up of Andrea Tarnowski and Gilvin. Tarnowski said the duo came up with the idea for the blues singing brothers.
"Somebody had to do it - it's all over the posters," Gilvin said.
Judges for the costume contest included Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe, Fredonia Board of Education member Roberta Coniglio, Fr. Joe Zalacca, Steve Pantano and Joe Gugino. Judges looked for originality, color, trueness to the blues theme and humor.
"We blew away the competition," Gilvin said.
Festivals of Fredonia gave thanks to the Beaver Club as well as the many additional businesses that came out to support the event.
"The committee really appreciates everything," Joan Loewer of Festivals Fredonia said.
The next event sponsored by Festivals Fredonia will be Harvest Moon Cemetery Tours held in October. For more information, visit www.festivalsfredonia.com.
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