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Fireworks, Art and Summer Fun Heat Up for a Family Good Time


By Eva Potter

Even though summer is winding down and back-to-school shopping ads compete for attention, it’s not too late to schedule a little more summertime fun at events sponsored by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council.

This past weekend marked another successful Art in the Park event, held in conjunction with the Taste of Olean at the Jamestown Community College campus in Olean. For the first time, artists were interspersed along the sidewalk with food vendors, which “made for an integrated, positive, fun, family atmosphere,” according to Anne Conroy-Baiter, executive director of CCAC.

“We had a really neat mixture of everything from emerging to established artists selling everything from handmade wooden frames that were absolutely gorgeous to beautiful jewelry to the amazing painterly techniques of Jennifer Miller, who got Best of Show,” she said. Tom Martin was awarded Juror’s Choice First Place while Patricia Eckstrom received Juror’s Choice Second Place. The show was juried by fine artist Thomas Paquette.

On Aug. 10, families can look forward to a magical summer evening at Allegany State Park’s Red House Beach Area as CCAC teams up with the park for their 5th Annual Beach Party. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is completely free. The park’s Artist in Residence and veteran acoustic guitarist Jamie Haight will perform familiar music, followed by the musical stylings of Olean’s Blues Brothers and Generations.

Conroy-Baiter said, “It’s one of the most family-friendly, relaxing nights of the year. Families come, they spread out a picnic, they put chairs out. You can get dinner right from the concession stand, which will stay open for the event. It’s a great place to sit back and let the kids run around in a safe environment.”

Also, there will be kids’ crafts, face painting, a limbo contest, a lifeguard competition, juggling by Gravitational Bull and a fireworks display at dusk sponsored by the Zippo Manufacturing Company of Bradford.

“We are the lucky beneficiaries of the park’s 4th of July fireworks show that was rained out, so we’re going to have a spectacular ending to the event,” said Conroy-Baiter.

For more information, contact Cassie Wright at (716) 354-9101 ext. 236, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council at (716) 372-7455.

Are your kids still complaining of boredom? It’s not too late to sign them up for some creative fun at CCAC’s art classes. Openings are still available for the Aug. 9 and Aug. 14 Ceramic Series, Aug. 6-7 Matisse Class, Aug. 14 Still Life, Aug. 15 Beads and Buttons, and Aug. 17 Abstract Painting. Visit www.myartscouncil.net or call (716) 372-7455 for details.

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