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Buffalo is a Winter City. Let’s Act Like One.

For years we’ve been talking about the best ways to promote Buffalo as a winter city destination. At some point in the future, I believe that Buffalo will be as popular in the winter as it is in the spring, summer and fall. Winter cities all over the world capitalize on the various characteristics that can only be showcased when it’s cold out – from skating on canals to building massive ice creations. Remember when we built the world’s largest ice maze during the first Powder Keg Festival?

Buffalo Ice Bikes – Photo by Chris Ocean

Yes, we have the ability to show off when it comes to how we enjoy our winters. Once Canalside got rockin’ and rollin, a local company figured out a way to construct Ice Bikes (see here). Once again, Buffalo was on the map for its ability to embrace winter.

I recently learned that Edmonton hosted a Winter Cities Shake-Up Conference in 2015. The idea behind the conference was to demonstrate that winter cities have just as much to tout as warmer climate cities. In fact, winter cities should have a ‘one up’ on non-winter cities because of the diversity of the climate and the offerings that cold and snow provide. 52 different cities were represented at the conference in Edmonton, and I’m pretty sure that Buffalo was not one of them. In fact, Edmonton is about to host a second conference this coming weekend, and I bet that Buffalo will not represent.

Buffalo will be celebrating 10 years of the Labatt Pond Hockey Tournament in 2017

Actually, it’s too bad that the Winter City Shake-Up Conference does not travel from city to city, as Buffalo would be a great host. That not being the case, who from City Hall, ECHDC or Visit Buffalo Niagara will be attending this ingenious event?

If a City delegate from Buffalo was to attend this conference, he or she would come away with a plethora of ideas that are not currently being playing out. There is so much untapped potential here. Yes, we have begun to embrace this fourth season, which for so long was a thorn in our side for some reason. We must learn from other winter cities – what their citizenry finds most fun about their winters. We have an entire Inner and Outer Harbor at our fingertips, bot of which are perfect for capitalizing upon the benefits of the cold and snow. The only problem is, we have been running away from winter for so long, that there is no one here that truly understands the full potential. That’s why attending a conference of this nature is such a no brainer.

While it’s all well and good that Buffalo is hosting the 51st NEC/AAAE International Aviation Snow Symposium (April 22-26, 2017), we should be wrapping our heads around a completely different way to attract people to Buffalo in the wintertime.

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is ‘queenseyes’ – Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world’s largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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  • BuffaloGals

    Hard to think Buffalo would be selected to host a traveling version of this conference when it hasn’t even sent a representative in the past.

  • jonny99

    sure sounds pretty cool but here is the problem, it is rarely cold enough or snowy enough to host a winter festival. Any attempt for a festival usually get canceled. The Pond hockey on the lake was a real debacle, the larkin ice fest…no ice, Chestnut Ridge Winter Fest…rain and mid 40’s. Can’t really depend on skiing, snowshoeing either, just have to be ready to go when the snow comes but it will be melted in a day or two. A pop up winter fest instead of a planned event might be the route.

    • breckenridge

      This. Other than the unusually harsh winter of ’14-’15, it seems that more often than not, winter festivals these days tend to get cancelled, rescheduled, or go as scheduled but without the winter activities. Looking outside right now, there aren’t even dirty snow piles in the city.

      • CJ Maurer

        /looks up. Immediately sees why progress stalls in Buffalo.

        • breckenridge

          I like winter as much as anyone. I was excited for and attended the first Powder Keg festival pictured at lead image. Fact is we have a lot of winter festivals, and the weather hasn’t been playing along for a majority of them.

          • CJ Maurer

            You missed the point. This article wasn’t about winter festivals. It was about leveraging winter to our advantage.

          • Johnny Pizza

            And how do you leverage winter to your advantage when lawns are still green in January and February? “Come one, come all to the frozen grass lawn Winter Festival!!!!!!”
            We can have you sell the entry tickets.

    • Rand503

      I don’t see how it will improve, either. Soon we won’t have a winter to worry about, thanks to climate deniers.