Zydeco, Blues, Jam, Americana, Roots and Folk Music Featured

By Alicia Dziak

Music, art, nature and fun! The Griffis Sculpture Park will celebrate a day of creativity, where all these things collide, at the second annual Griffis Sculpture Park (GSP) Summer Festival on Sunday, Aug. 17, from noon until 6:30 p.m.

“In its first year, it was a wonderful time for families, couples, friends, and we are sure to recreate this and then some for our second annual event!” said Nila Griffis, executive director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation, which runs Griffis Sculpture Park and the Essex Arts Center (EAC).

Highlighting the event will be musical performances from some of the region’s best musicians — Black Rock Zydeco, Workingmans Dead and Folk Faces — encompassing a variety of musical genres, including zydeco (Cajun/creole dance music), blues, jam, Americana, roots and folk.

Admission will also include tours of the park. What better way to learn about the park and sculptures than from the staff?

“We will be doing two tours throughout the event and our staff will lead the tours — Zack Boehler and Mark Griffis,” explained Griffis. “The tours will be approximately 30-45 minutes … and we will focus on the upper hill around the stage area.”

In addition, the festival will feature children’s crafts and activities, artists creating works, a scavenger hunt, a drum circle, poetry readings and more.

The events will take place at the Mill Valley side of the park (follow signs from Route 219 in Ashford Hollow, about halfway between Ellicottville and Springville).

“The parking for the event will be at the 6902 Mill Valley entrance — however, this year, unlike last year, we will be providing a shuttle to the top of the hill where the concert and activities will take place,” said Griffis.

Of course, guests can also choose to walk one of the meandering, hilly pathways to the stage.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and a picnic if they wish. There will also be a food vendor providing various grilled items, and a beer and wine garden on-site.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Ashford Hollow Foundation.

“The mission of the Ashford Hollow Foundation, who owns and operates Griffis Sculpture Park and the Essex Arts Center, is to promote the visual and performing arts,” Griffis said. “In the past, the foundation has held several music and art performances at both GSP and the EAC with performances by bands including The Band, 10,000 Maniacs, The Lowest of the Low and The Skydiggers, just to name a few. The foundation wanted to get back to our roots and make sure we live up to our mission statement by hosting annual musical events at both GSP and the EAC.”

Tickets will be available at the door or presale on www.griffispark.org. Admission is $10 for adults, and free for kids 12 and under. Tickets will be available at the door or presale at www.griffispark.org. Gates open on Aug. 17 at 11 a.m., so get there early to enjoy the park.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to check out the country’s largest sculpture park in a beautiful setting, all while supporting the arts.

For more information and festival updates, visit their Facebook page or www.griffispark.org.