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Colden Festival returns for art, music lovers

COLDEN—Artisans, music and a variety of other activities will be returning for one of the longest running art festivals in Western New York with the annual Colden Festival.

The Colden Festival will return Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Colden Town Hall and the Colden Market and Cafe parking lots. Over 50 artists and vendors will be showing their goods, along with a family tent from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., horse-drawn historical tours from 1-3 p.m., chicken barbecue sponsored by the Colden Fire Department and a visit from Batman and the Batmobile on both days. The Dirty Pour, a paint and wine event will be held on Sept. 29 at the Colden Mill Restaurant and the Bookmobile will be attending on Sept. 30.

A variety of musical acts will be playing downtown throughout the festival including Bob Muhlbauer from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Hintz of Thunder from 12:10 -1:10 p.m., Porcelain Train from 1:20 - 2:20 p.m. and Dana Manz from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday will feature Nick Kody & Lydia from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wise Alex from 12:10 - 1:10 p.m., Dark Road Duo from 1:20 - 2:20 p.m. and Elvis Impersonator Nathan Pittorf from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

“One of the biggest things people tell us is that it’s a nice, small, laid-back festival,” Colden Festival Chairman Jim Howe said. “People that come to it enjoy all our vendors, enjoy being here and we try and make it a fun event.”

Also during the Colden Festival will be the Belle Starr Concert on Sept. 29 starting at 6 p.m. The Belle Starr was a bar in Colden that burned down in 1980, which housed a number of famous music acts during its time open. When Howe started bringing music to the festival in 2013, he wanted to start a new tradition while also keeping the Belle Starr name alive.

The National Anthem will be sung by Doug Allen, followed by the opening band Hintz of Thunder at 6 p.m. Main acts for the evening will include the Dave Constantino Band, Hayden Fogle and the Buffalo Blue Benefit Band. Proceeds from the Belle Starr Concert will go toward BuffaloBlues.org, which serves veterans at-risk of homelessness and helps build an educated community to support the cause.

“It’s a very positive event with a lot going on,” Howe said.

With the roots of the Colden Festival stretching back to 1968 with only a few years of it not running, the festival was famous for hosting 200 bands and bringing in over 10,000 people into the town. With the festival being one of the first of its kind when started, Howe is happy to see the festival still running today and is hoping to build it back up to where it once was.

“It’s part of the history of the area,” Howe said. “This was the arts festival in Western New York … we are committed to trying to build it back to what it was back in those days.

For more information or to see a full schedule, visit coldenfestival.com.

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