Tonawanda News — In the Twin Cities, it’s the time of year for pumpkins and basket raffles, arts and crafts, hayrides and bounce houses — and don’t forget the chowder.
The Veterans Park Fall Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the park in the City of Tonawanda, followed a week later by the North Tonawanda Fall Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5. While the events have many things in common — community groups, vendors, games among them — they also each have a history and traditions all their own.
Amanda Lofft, City of Tonawanda recreation director, said that this will mark the 18th year of the Veterans Park tradition, which is made possible by countless volunteers and many community groups. The event includes an arts and crafts show, a basket raffle, community vendors and tables, youth activities, kids’ games, a pumpkin patch, hayrides and representatives and vehicles from the City of Tonawanda Fire Department. This year, Rite Aid will also be providing flu shots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Just the oldies but goodies,” Lofft said. “We’ll have seven kettles of chowder. We’ll have plenty of chowder, from the Tonawanda Football Clinic and Gastown Sportsmens’ Club, and we make our own as well.
“We’re really looking forward to it, and it looks like the weather’s going to be beautiful. It’s really a very family-friendly event our community really looks forward to.”
A week later, the second North Tonawanda Fall Festival will take place, with its one big change from last year the move to outside the former Gilmore Elementary School at 789 Gilmore Ave.
Alex Domaradzki, youth coordinator of the NT Department of Youth, Recreation & Parks, which sponsors the event along with the Christian Academy of Western New York, said that last year’s inaugural festival went very well, but this year’s will be larger.