Some of Buffalo’s largest summer event organizers speak on their fate amid pandemic


Organizers of the Allentown Art Festival have now canceled the June event.

Organizers say this was a heartbreaking decision to make but they tell me they’re thinking of everyone’s safety, and that with there being so much unknown still in regards to coronavirus and when it’ll be safe again for large crowds, it’s too much of a risk.

We spoke with Rita Harrington-Lippman on the phone today, she’s the president of the festival.

She says they have a responsibility to keep the public safe and healthy.

Harrington-Lippman says this is only the second time in the 63 years of the art festival that it’s been canceled.

The only other time she says is when Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

She says understand the social and economic impact this is going to have, and it’s devastating, but she says people’s health comes first.

Harrington-Lippman says they’re now planning to have a virtual show. They’ll have information on the Allentown Art Festival website, where people will be able to view artists’ work and buy it online.

With this festival being canceled, what about other summer events, the Taste of Buffalo, the Italian Festival.

Marco Sciortino says organizers have been meeting virtually about the Italian Heritage Festival which is scheduled for July 18th and 19th.

He says they’ll make a final decision in the first week of May.

Organizers for the Taste of Buffalo are also waiting until May for a decision, but it’s still scheduled for July 11th and 12th.

They hope to help restaurants make up any losses.

As for the best 12 days of summer, Jessica Underberg, Fair Manager, says she’s not making any promises but organizers are doing everything they can to make the fair happen.

Underberg says the chances of rescheduling the fair are slim, but she if they have to cancel she says there will be one next year.

Also Ride for Roswell is scheduled for June 27th

Organizers posted to their website just yesterday that they will make a decision May 1st.

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