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Glenn Murray captures smiling faces from the big XX

The weather for this past weekend’s Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts was magnificent. Hosting outdoor events and festivals is a precarious business because you never know what Mother Nature has in store. Thankfully, she felt like blessing the 20th annual festival with lots of sun and mild temperatures, which made for possibly the best festival to date. The energy was high, and the smiles were many. Everything appeared to be firing on all cylinders.

Throughout the course of the 20 years (XX), a lot has changed at this festival, to make it as inspirational as possible. I have to say, this past Saturday (spending the better part of the day there), I saw it all come together in ways that it was always hoped and imagined. From the Kidsfest area in The Co-op parking lot to the designated food court on Auburn, the festival was flawless. I even ran into festival co-founder Joe DiPasquale who had time to chat briefly about the last 20 years, since that fateful day when the two of us drove down to Manayunk, PA while researching art festivals (along with a number of other super talented committee members).

I am a fan of the Elmwood Art Festival for a lot of reasons, but the biggest is that it is comfortable. The way it is laid out draws festival-goers into Elmwood arteries, making the spine of the festival a breeze to navigate. The festival is in a nice, tight, easy to digest footprint. I also like that a lot of the businesses along the route interact with festival in ways that contribute to the energy and diversity – another intention from the onset.

As always, the dance performers and the musicians bring a magical air to the festival, as do all of the kids who love to participate year after year.

While descriptions are always nice, sometimes photos from a stellar local photographer can sum up the story even better. Thankfully, Glenn Murray was there to help capture the magic from the big XX.

Written by 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, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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