42nd Falling Leaves Festival deemed a success by organizers

Falling Leaves Festival weekend in Salamanca was deemed a success by its organizers, with thousands of people visiting the festival over the three-day weekend.

SALAMANCA — Even with not very many leaves falling to the ground this past weekend, the 42nd annual Salamanca Seneca Falling Leaves Festival was still considered a great success for the community by the organizers.

Throughout the three-day festival held in Jefferson Street Park and the downtown Salamanca area, thousands of people flocked to the city for food, arts and crafts, games, entertainment and more.

As was expected, occasional overcast skies and cooler temperatures were present during the weekend, as was a rain shower late Sunday, but sunny skies on Saturday more than made up for it.

“I think we had phenomenal numbers all day Saturday,” said festival organizer Kathy Sarver. “The weather held out until 5 o’clock or so on Sunday, so you couldn’t ask it to be better.”

Although she didn’t have an estimate of how many people attended overall, Sarver said Saturday had more attendees than usual while Sunday had fewer people.

“I noticed not as many people for the parade as usual,” she said. “But as far as Saturday, I think that made up for it.”

During the course of the weekend, both the food and crafts vendors reported doing well on sales, Sarver said. There were so many crafts vendors signed up this year, about a dozen were moved to Jefferson Street when all of them couldn’t fit on Park Avenue as in past years.

“Having I Got It coming back this year was a huge success,” she added. “We’re hoping to get them back again next year because everybody loved it.”

Several free activities also went over very well, Sarver said, notably the photo booth and caricature drawing artist. Other attendees were glad the see the Buffalo Bills game airing in the beer tent on Sunday.

“Of course, the Porcelain Busdrivers was a huge success,” she said of the main entertainment Saturday afternoon, with the local band playing to a packed crowd under the main tent. “We had great numbers for that.”

A wrap-up meeting of the festival organizers will be scheduled in the coming weeks to further discuss how this year went and preliminary plans for 2020.

“I thought the numbers were really good and nobody has complained that I know of,” Sarver said.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting or volunteering in next year’s festival should call Sarver at the city comptroller’s office at 945-3890.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)