By Mary Heyl

This summer marks the historic village of Randolph’s 43rd Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, which for many visitors marks the unofficial start of summer!

On Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., dozens of craft and food vendors will line Main Street with their handmade wares and tasty treats. The Arts and Crafts Festival is also a great excuse to visit New York’s Amish Trail before taking part in the festivities downtown. Amish toy shops, woodworking shops, bake stands and fresh produce stands are just a few of the stops visitors can make on their way downtown.

The Welcome Center of the Randolph Municipal Building, located at 72 Main Street, has a wealth of information on local shops and events. Visitors can pick up a map of the Amish Trail, which begins in Randolph and takes visitors throughout Cattaraugus County’s Amish communities. These self-guided driving tours allow visitors to tour at their own pace, or, if you prefer, guided tours are also available by visiting www.amishtrail.com or calling 1-800-331-0543. Please note that the Amish reserve Sundays for religious and family gatherings, so no businesses are open.

Whether visitors are interested in rustic décor, home and garden products, jewelry or apparel, they’re sure to find it among the booths at the Arts and Crafts Festival. Jane Cain, owner of Wallflowers Design Studio, will be displaying her popular burlap and floral wreaths, and Franklin’s Honey will be returning with their delicious local confections. Visitors can also look forward to Simply Natural Alpaca Gift Shop of Randolph, where beautiful alpaca clothing and accessories, including hand-knit scarves, hats and socks are on display. Booths selling hand-carved birdhouses, painted wind chimes, garden signs and more are also a beautiful part of the festival.

Of course, there’s no shortage of good food to enjoy, as Randolph’s Peaches and Cream will be setting up its booth downtown with fresh produce and delicious Hershey’s Ice Cream. Food vendors selling Italian sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, fried dough and sugar waffles will line Bank Street, which is adjacent to the festival’s entertainment center.

On the lawn between Bank Street and Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts, a variety of entertainers are scheduled to perform throughout the day. The festival begins with a performance by Old Dawg Bluegrass, one of the area’s most popular local bands, and is followed by the Jock-ular Juggler Bob Nickerson, a Pennsylvania resident and Guinness World Record holder who juggles kettle bells, basketballs and golf clubs, among other sport-related objects!

At noon on the front lawn of Senn-Sations Salon and Day Spa, the Beautiful Baby Contest will take place: all babies 12 months or younger are invited to participate in this fun event sponsored by Randolph’s favorite salon.

Randolph’s Expressions Performing Arts Center’s dancers will be giving a performance this year on Main Street, and Hyam A. Shyster, professional magician, will be delighting the audience with his magic tricks!

And, there’s even more to the Arts and Crafts festival than just the vendors and entertainment on Main Street. The Masonic Lodge will host a Saturday morning pancake breakfast hosted by at the Randolph Fire Hall from 7:30-10:30 a.m. All day long, the Randolph Historical Society on Jamestown Street will be hosting a special exhibit on Randolph businesses over the years on Saturday. And next door, the Randolph Library will hold its annual book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, June 21.

Give your summer a fun start by visiting Randolph on Saturday, June 20! For more information, visit www.enjoyrandolph.org or call the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation at (716) 358-9701 ext. 208.