Chances are that you’ve heard about the Grease Pole Festival held at the Pucho Olivencia center at 261 Swan Street each year. Aside from a splendid three day celebration of Puerto Rican culture, featuring ethnic food, dance, and live music, the festival also features the grease pole competition, which sees determined teams of men attempting to scale a greased telephone pole in the fastest time. At the top of the pole is a yellow flag, with a number of prizes. But the competitors don’t really do it for the prizes, rather they do it for the glory. And very few people ever make it to the top – you will soon find out why.
The Grease Pole Festival is one of the longest running festivals in WNY – 2019 will mark the 50th year!
One might think that scaling a greased pole wouldn’t be that hard, but more often than not, teams walk away with their tails between their legs. It’s a rarity to see a man successfully climb over each one of his teammates to reach the top. And when that happens, the crowd goes wild! This is the type of machismo event that just has to be seen to be believed, which is why we’re so thrilled to be able to present to you this up close and personal look at this year’s winning team,Team South Park, in action, thanks to our friends at WNYTV.org.
“Next year’s 50th anniversary promises to be the biggest, and for the 13th straight year, winning champions, Team South Park, are accepting all international challenges in the Grease Pole Competition.” – Tom Hylo Dekan @ Buffalo Late Night | Drone footage shot by Tom
And here’s a nice photo album of the event, shot by Glenn Murray: