What’s happening under the big tent at Falling Leaves

Empire State Wrestling will once again kick off the entertainment under the big tent in the park as part of Falling Leaves Festival weekend, Friday through Sunday.

SALAMANCA — Musical acts both old and new, and featured events from a community church service to championship wrestling, the big tent in Jefferson Street Park will house it all.

Each year, patrons of the Salamanca Seneca Falling Leaves Festival have the opportunity to see and hear a variety of events and performances the festival has to offer each day.

To kick off the festival on Friday, attendees will once again have the chance to see professional men and women wrestlers from Empire State Wrestling at 5 p.m.

Over half of ESW’s performers reside in the Western New York area. Also, as Western New York’s premier independent professional wrestling promotion, ESW over the years has hosted many of pro wrestling’s top up-and-comers and biggest legends. Afterward, attendees will have the opportunity to meet their favorite regional wrestlers.

The entertainment continues Saturday, Oct. 5 with three area music groups performing under the big tent in the park throughout the afternoon and evening.

At 1 p.m., the WNY Fiddle Kids will take the stage, playing for the crowd traditional bluegrass tunes with a modern twist. The group is comprised of private violin/fiddle students of Heather Pennington from across Erie County and they range from ages 5-18.

Following the Fiddle Kids, the Cold Spring Indian Dancers, a local group of Native American traditional dancers, will take the stage at 3 p.m. They have been featured in past Falling Leaves Festivals as well as during the Celebrate Salamanca festival earlier in the summer.

After the success of last year, the Saturday night dance will once again take place under the big tent in the park with local favorites the Porcelain Bus Drivers providing the tunes.

On Sunday, a Community Church Service will begin the day at 10:30 a.m., with eight local churches coming together. A youth Christian rock band will provide tunes with Pastor Buck Hall giving the sermon. About 100 chairs will be set up, but bringing your own is encouraged.

While the grand parade may be one of the featured highlights of the festival on Sunday, several of the musical acts marching in it will keep the music going afterward in the park.

Three of the parade’s musical units — the Hitmen, the Marilla Band and Northcoast Brass — will be performing under the tent for about an hour, playing approximately 20 minutes each.

Following the parade acts, Buffalo-area musician Stephen Piotrowski will perform in the park, offering a singer/songwriter setlist drawing inspiration from Jason Mraz, Ben Folds and John Mayer.

Whether you’re into wrestling or dancing, traditional or modern tunes, or want to join your neighbors for a community church service, the Falling Leaves Festival has plenty to offer under the big tent this year.