Griffis Hosts Summer Festival Aug. 16

By Alicia Dziak

Spend an afternoon with music, art and fun in one of the area’s most unique settings. Griffis Sculpture Park hosts the third annual Summer Festival on Sunday, Aug. 16, from noon to 7 p.m., and this year’s festival—held rain or shine—once again promises to be an event to remember.

The festival, on the grounds of the 400-acre park, will feature musical performances from some of the region’s best musicians, tours of the park, children’s crafts and activities, artists creating works, and much more.

The music lineup includes two sets by Workingman’s Dead (Grateful Dead cover band), The Observers (folk, acoustic), Cosmic Kat (jazz, funk, R&B and pop, with a twist) and the Sly Boots School of Music (African drum and performance-based session).

Don’t forget to bring the kids, as there will be plenty of fun for them too.

“We will be doing a creative button tree activity for the kids this year — we will use the scenery for inspiration!” explained Nila Griffis, executive director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation, which owns and operates Griffis Sculpture Park and the Essex Arts Center on the West Side of Buffalo.

In addition, Griffis noted, “We will have a few painters and local artisans — including a soap artist.”

Guests are welcome to bring a small cooler and picnic by the stage, or indulge in tasty fare from the food vendors. “We are actually in talks with a few different food trucks to see if they can make the climb to the top of the hill and we will also provide BBQ items – burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs as well as a plethora of snack items,” said Griffis.

Park goers can also take in the 250 sculptures that reside throughout the trails of the park, an experience in itself.

The events will take place on the top of the hill at the Mill Valley site. Guests should be prepared for a 10 minute walk uphill to the festival site.

Admission is $10 for adults, free for children ages 12 and under. Gates open at 11 a.m.

“The funds raised go toward not only general maintenance of the Sculpture Park but also toward bettering the facilities to provide more programming to the public, increasing the offerings available at the Sculpture park during the open season,” stated Griffis.

“This year we are very committed to bringing great music, food and beverages in a truly unique setting in the hopes of attracting guests who have experienced Griffis Sculpture Park in the past or who are brand new to the park. We offer such a beautiful vista for music and art and it is our hope to continue to realize our mission — to promote the performing and visual arts — through events like the Annual Summer Festival.  We truly appreciate offering events like these to bring people and families together!”

For more information, visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Griffis-Sculpture-Park).