Buffalo’s first “Flutterby Festival” set for this weekend: A fun way to learn about environmental conservation


A brand-new festival hits the streets of the Elmwood Village this Saturday- and the theme is saving the planet.

The Queen City’s first “eco-festival” will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Dubbed the “Flutterby Festival”, the strolling festival (no street closures) will take place from Forest Avenue to Summer Street. Over 50 local businesses will participate, and many local earth-friendly businesses will host pop-up events along the street.

There will be an abundance of Instagram opportunities. Artist Nicole Cherry has created a new interactive butterfly mural on the side of Hodge Liquor, Chuck Tingley is in the process of creating a mural on the side of the Buffalo Squash and Tennis club at Elmwood and Summer Streets, and a statue of “The Lorax” (who speaks for the trees) will be put up for the occasion.

The festival is the brainchild of Newell Nussbaumer.

Nussbaumer says he’s been working on the festival for over a year.

“We’re trying to encourage people to learn about what they can do for the environment to affect it in a positive way, whether that’s simply getting rid of plastic straws or not using plastic bags, eating more sustainable foods or being active,” Nussbaumer said. “We know so much about what the planet is facing right now, but it seems until it really affects us on a daily basis, we’re not really going to change our ways.”

The Flutterby Festival will be a fun way to educate people about easy ways they can help the environment, Nussbaumer added.

 Nearly all of the businesses in the Elmwood Village are on board to participate, he said.

“A lot of the businesses have said ‘It’s been so exciting, such a learning experience for us, we’ll continue to do it after the festival’,” Nussbaumer said. “We want the Elmwood Village and the City of Buffalo to become an earth-friendly place.”

Trattoria Aroma on Bryant Street and Ashland Avenue is one of the businesses participating on Sunday.

Owner Dave Cosentino said that the restaurant has been taking steps to phase out plastic straws for the past six months.

“They don’t compose, they’re plastic, they sit there for a lifetime,” Cosentino said. “We’re attempting to reduce the consumption of straws by not putting them in all of our drinks, and once we get customers to change their habits of using straws, we’ll switch over to compostable hay straws.”

During the Flutterby Festival, Trattoria Aroma will be serving up special mushroom cocktails made with locally sourced mushrooms.

They will also facilitate an appearance by “Protein Responsibly”, a group of UB students who have created a sustainable beef-alternative burger, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Protein Responsibly will have a grill to sell their burgers.

Thin Man Brewery has created a special “Flutterby Honey Blonde” made with 40 pounds of local honey, which will be sold at bars and restaurants in the village during the festival.

Festival goers can expect to encounter buskers and plein-air painters, henna and face painting, a bike rodeo, meet pigs and goats, and explore a butterfly tent at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and West Ferry.

To find businesses participating in the festival, look for the “Flutterby” stickers on doors.

Find a full list of events here.

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