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Weekend festivals draw large crowds

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Large crowds turned out for two big weekend festivals: Juneteenth and Allentown.

Allentown is the bigger of the two, with the large crowds swarming the 360 exhibitors in the Allentown neighborhood. Exhibitors seemed happy with sales, especially on Saturday when smaller crowds appeared to attract customers for the artworks.

Marilyn Chattin is part of a husband and wife team of sculptors from Halifax, Vermont who have sold at the festival for many years. Chattin says sales were good.

"Our best seller is the Ichiban vase. But, we have a lot of garden items, bird feeders, bird baths and, also, we have a lot of table top items like bowls and plates and casseroles and baking dishes and things like that. It all sells," Chattin said.

Of course, with the crowds of shoppers, they also shopped for Allentown's traditional wide range of food and drink, especially as the warm afternoon continued.

That was also true over at Juneteenth in Martin Luther King Park. But, Juneteenth has one thing Allentown doesn't have: that giant wading pool which was filled with people taking advantage of the water and sprays.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
The wading pools at Martin Luther King Junior Park were a big hit for Juneteenth visitors on Sunday.

"It's like a big family reunion," saidJerome Williams, public relations and marketing coordinator for Juneteenth.

"It (the pool) just adds to the festival and adds to the community when you see the children out there playing together and you see the adults out there with them, having fun and just smiling and giggling and everybody just having a good time."

Juneteenth was also offering science classes for young people to attract them into science and math for their futures, as well as a health tent for all ages to persuade people to be healthy.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.