Op-Ed: Warm weather brings plenty of fun in Buffalo

Senator Sean Ryan

Originally published in Ken-Ton Bee on .

With the green of spring finally returning to our parks and neighborhoods, we can start looking forward to another beautiful summer here in Western New York. As everyone who lives around here knows, Buffalo has a lot to offer in the warm weather months. From the waterfront to the fairgrounds, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this summer.

With summer comes many of Buffalo’s biggest festivals. The first weekend in June is Buffalo Pride. On Sunday, June 2, you can join the celebration of Buffalo’s LGBTQ+ community, starting with the Pride Parade down Elmwood Avenue from Forest Avenue to Allen Street. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and the festival will continue at Canalside until 7 p.m.

The following weekend is the 67th Allentown Art Festival. Buffalo’s vibrant art community continues to grow each year, and the Art Festival is one of the community’s great tentpole events. The festival draws artists from across Western New York and all over the country for celebrations of culture, music, and food. Be sure to join one of Buffalo’s greatest events in Allentown this summer.

Later in June, you can join another cultural celebration on Buffalo’s East Side with the Juneteenth Festival on June 17 and 18. At Martin Luther King Jr. Park, you’ll find a vibrant celebration of Buffalo’s African American heritage. In July, you can delve into Buffalo’s signature cuisines at the Taste of Buffalo. Each year, tens of thousands gather in Niagara Square to sample some of the best food our city has to offer. The festival celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, and it’s still going strong. July also features Old Home Days at Island Park in the Village of Williamsville, which runs from July 16 to 19 and has rides, games, and great food and music.

This month is National Bike Month, and here in Buffalo, we’re lucky to have a wide variety of biking groups and events. That includes GObike’s annual SkyRide on July 21, where you can ride across the Outer Harbor and over the Skyway. Kids under 6 ride for free and everyone else can save $20 by registering before June 1. For more information, visit gobikebuffalo.org/skyride.

In September, the Music Is Art festival will make its triumphant return to Buffalo State University and the Buffalo AKG Art Museum. The long-running festival will be reuniting with the cultural corridor along Elmwood, where you can partake in the many dozens of live performances across the two campuses. And all year long, M&T Bank sponsors Friday events at the Buffalo AKG, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Buffalo History Museum, and the Buffalo Arts Studio at Tri-Main Center.

Finally, don’t forget to check out farmers markets in Buffalo, Kenmore, Williamsville, North Tonawanda, and throughout Western New York. Whether you’re biking the Outer Harbor or strolling the Taste of Buffalo, I hope everyone takes the time to appreciate Western New York’s many offerings this summer.