Big Changes for Buffalo Winterfest & Powder Keg Festival

January 5, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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January 5, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -Buffalo's Powder Keg-Winterfest will have a different look and location for 2012. The event will be hosted around Niagara Square in the heart of Downtown Buffalo and Along Delaware Avenue. The festival, which celebrates Buffalo's winters, brought about 30,000 people last year and this year promises to be bigger and better.

"People love to be engaged with winter activities," said Festival Organizer Drew Cerza. "We'll be building snowmen, igloos, even playing broomball. People love to embrace the winter when they have the opportunity."

Organizers also say this year the public can enjoy indoor activities at the Statler.

"People get to come and enjoy the new spaces, hang out in our lobby, and are able to grab a beer or a hot chocolate," said Statler City Owner Mark Croce. "It'll be a place to escape the elements outdoors."

But what about protestors with Occupy Buffalo? Their tents still line Niagara Square. In general, city officials say festivals and events would have priority for the area. Festival organizers would like to see members re-locate.

"I think it would be nice to have all of Niagara Square for the festival," added Cerza. "We're trying to showcase Buffalo and the beauty of Niagara Square."

Some Occupy Buffalo members say they are receptive to temporarily moving, but believe a co-existence at the festival would be ideal.

"Why not collaborate with Occupy Buffalo? Just make it a joint event," said Occupy Buffalo Protestor Steve Norris.

Occupy Buffalo's permit expires in the beginning of February. The festival will be held February 11th and 12th. For more information visit: www.buffalowinterfest.com