Elmwood Festival of the Arts closes the summer season

Aug 28, 2017

Labor Day and the first day of school are in sight, but the Elmwood Festival of the Arts celebrated the last big summer fest of the year with a big crowd.

The Elmwood Festival is a mix of music, arts and activism, adults at the beer stand and kids getting face paint, artwork and woodwork. It brought large crowds on a pleasant weekend to the heart of the Elmwood Village.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO

There also was a booth pushing against development and waivers to the Green Code and neighborhood

institutions reminding people of the services they provide. Thomas Lochner was there as senior warden for Saint John's-Grace Episcopal Church on Colonial Circle.

"We're here because we're here in the neighborhood and we like people to know about our church in the Elmwood Village on Colonial Circle," Lochner said. "Among other things, we invite people to use our church as a wedding venue. Everyone's welcome."

Lochner was also telling people about an opera performance in the church on October 22.

Leslie James Pickering of Burning Books said a best-seller at the festival was the kids book "A is for Activists." It sold out quickly. Pickering said a booth in this show is good marketing for his book store.

"It's a big deal because there are a lot of people in Buffalo that don't make it over to the West Side, which is where our bookstore is located, but they will come out to the Elmwood Festival and people from outside Buffalo come into the Elmwood Festival," said Pickering. "So it's really a way to reach out to the broader community and bring them in to your shop."

Pickering said that might be why "The Anti-Fascist Handbook" also sold out.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO

Down Elmwood, Tina Obad was selling something different in the Helmut's Austrian Strudel booth, with not much left by late Sunday afternoon.

"A lot of our apple. You can't go wrong with apple strudel," Obad said. "But mostly we're very heavily selling strudel. That is the main product that everybody wants."

Don Handley was there selling wood sculptures, but not just any wooden sculptures. Handley said he has akey tool not used by many do-it-yourselfers.

"Primarily chainsaw. Probably about 90% of the carvings are done with a chainsaw," Handley said. "I use sanders and I use torches and then we use marine varnish to seal everything."

The most popular merchandise from Handley's Buffalo Beaver Chainsaw Creations was whimsical miniature houses.

Melanie Chimento said the festival went well for her photography and tour business, Buffalo Underground. Chimento said she helps people learn their own community.

"What I do is I run a local meet-up group called Buffalo Underground Western New York and I'm an event organizer and I take people to different places in the area that they might not have known of, like all the hidden gems we have," Chimento said. "So that is the theme of my photography, all the hidden gems that we have in this area, like gorgeous architecture, unique places, beautiful places. So that's my theme."

Chimento said the photograph that drew the most attention was the garden behind the old Butler Mansion at Delaware and North.

Patty Cancilla said it was a good event for jewelry and the people were nice.

"Little bit of everything, but the earrings are definitely selling and beautiful bracelets and I have little pendants that are very affordable," Cancilla said. "So some of the $23.95 pendants are selling, which is lovely, but all of my customers are coming in, too. Everybody loves the show."