The annual Taste of Buffalo festival came to a close Sunday evening. It's the largest two-day food tasting festival in the country. But for some of the people that turned out downtown for the food, the festival was about a lot more than that.
Joan and Les Smosczynski live in Dunkirk, but they've been to every single Taste of Buffalo. Since the event started in 1984, the Smosczynski's have been in attendance. To them, the event is a very special occasion.
"Our anniversary is actually July 9th," Joan explained. "So we try to make it both days."
The Taste is one of the ways the Smosczynski's celebrate their anniversary every single year. It's their way to share their love for each other and for their city.
Joan was born and raised in Buffalo.
Jeanette and Evan Chimino haven't been going to the Taste for 32 years, but they might be able to say that someday. They have started a new mother-son tradition at the festival.
"It's our second year," Jeanette said. "Just mother and son."
The Chimino's use the Taste as a way to get downtown and hang out with each other, something they don't always have time for these days.
"I like spending time with my mom because I don't really get to do that anymore," Evan said.
And some Taste-goers think the festival does more than just bring families closer together.
"It definitely brings people together," Josh Davis said. It's important that Buffalo has something that keeps the community alive. There's not too many things that do."