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Thousands pack Buffalo's Central Terminal for East Side Festival

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 13, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The long quiet halls of Buffalo Central Terminal, once filled with rumbling trains, was filled with music and culture Saturday for the East Side Festival.

Katie Harrod has lived in Buffalo her whole life, but never got the chance to go inside Central Terminal until now. Getting the chance to go inside, and the music acts, were the main reasons she spent her day at the festival. The program included Harmony Polish Folk Ensemble, a Buffalo Museum of Science demonstration, and Colored Musicians Club's George Scott Big Band. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra was the marquee act.

The festival didn't only celebrate the East Side of Buffalo, but it also celebrated the 90th anniversary of Central Terminal's opening. What was it like for those who had the chance to ride the train before Central Terminal closed four decades ago.

"Oh it was wonderful," said Margaretta Porter.

Five-thousand people attended the day of music, dancing, and food, and as enjoyable as the day was the people who helped put the event together, like State Senator Tim Kennedy (NY-63), said there's a deeper meaning behind it than just having fun.

"This is an opportunity for us to showcase the best of Buffalo, the amazing cultures, the amazing ethnicities, the amazing diversity that makes Buffalo so special," he said.

It's the reason why the Otis Glover and Rev. Melody Rutherford, the co-chairs of both BPO's Diversity Council and the East Side Festival, put the event together.

"The East Side community is blessed with so many cultural institutions so it was just a blessing to see the Polish community, the German community, and the African American community come together and celebrate together," Rutherford said.

The organizers said they hope to do it all again next year.