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Allen West Art Festival, Allentown Art Festival return after COVID-19 hiatus

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 21:18:10-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The Allentown Art Festival and Allen West Art Festival are returning this weekend after a long two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

Both art festivals are Saturday and Sunday this weekend until 6 PM. The Allen West Art Festival begins at 10 AM and the Allentown Art Festival begins one hour later at 11 AM.

"It’s going to be fun,” Allen West Art Festival vendor Gretchan Grobe said. “It’s like a homecoming."

"Applications came in faster than they ever have in the past,” Jonathan White from the Allentown Association said.

119 local vendors are gearing up for a busy weekend. At 5 AM on Saturday vendors and event coordinators will be getting ready to show off their work.

"It’s the best kind of busy,” White said. “After two years of not being able to do it, it’s just something we've been looking forward to doing."

White from said in 2019 they had about 250,000 people come through the festival, but he said when the festival first started more than twenty years ago, they would see about 400,000 people stop by.

"We think we might see numbers of that size again,” White said. “People are so excited to get out of their house and have something that feels like normal."

White said the crowds are nothing to worry about, he said since there's so much time for people to stop by the crowds control themselves.

"Some people go in every booth and talk to every artist and some people just come down and like to watch the people,” White said.

Vendors like Grobe, who helped found the Allen West Art Festival, said it means more than making sales.

"It’s a good way to show my product,” Grobe said. “But I also love meeting people and seeing people and introducing people to this neighborhood."

But Grobe said the two-year break has been tough for some artists.

"A lot of our vendors live show to show,” Grobe said. “And this has been a couple of dry years."

White said the construction on Allen Street is nothing to worry about, things will go on as planned.