OLEAN — If the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach, then Olean is a destination visitors are sure to love Sunday.
The 71st annual Art in the Park and 30th annual Taste of Olean will return to War Veterans Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 25., combining 10 area restaurant and beverage vendors with nine artists for great food and entertainment for the whole family.
Presented by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, National Grid Co. and GOACC’s
From 1991 to 1997, the event was held at Lincoln Park. From 1998 to 2002, North Union Street hosted the festivities. Jamestown Community College was the home of the festival for 13 years before it moved to War Vets Park in 2016.
Local restaurants will present tastes of small food portions costing between 50 cents and $5. Restaurants are encouraged to promote their famous dishes, introduce a new menu item or a specialty drink
Restaurants that will be appearing at the Taste include Rafi’s Food Hub, Chef Jimmy’s Catering, The Hungry Burro, Big Bossman’s BBQ, Firefly Bagels, AnnMarie’s Baklava, Crystal’s Confections, CJ’s BBQ Catering, Sanzo Beverage and Wright Beverages.
At the same time, Art in the Park, sponsored by the Tri County Arts Council held in conjunction with the Taste, is a juried fine arts show with a long standing tradition of showcasing the finest art in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
This year’s artists include Michael Weishan, photography and woodwork; Eileen Weishan, handmade bags and scarves; Joyce Kline, handmade wooden kitchen tools; Peter Hamilton, wooden sculpture and furniture; Eric Holbein, New Albion Clayworks pottery; Kaylee Taylor, Woodland Signatures jewelry; Nicole Missel, bags and yoga mats made from recycled materials; Rachel Whitake, pottery; and Tori Gulnac, black and white drawings.
Awards will be presented for Best of Show, Best New Entry and Best Presentation.
Along with the arts, the music doesn’t stop with Theater Workshop of Olean lining up continuous entertainment, including the Brass Knuckles from 12:30-1 p.m.
Olean Community Theatre performs 1-1:30 p.m.; OHS Fredonia Liberty Partnership Program, 1:30-2 p.m.; Dance Arts Marcia Gallineaux, 2-2:30 p.m.; Neighborhood School of Dance, 3-3:30 p.m.; and Allegany Limestone Summer Musical, 4-4:30 p.m.
For more family fun, local artist Eric Jones will be on site with his famous caricature drawings, and balloon animal creations will be done by the Balloon Lady.
Some of the new features this time include two demonstrations by AKT Combatives Academy, Paint Party with Lindsey/Critical Burn and demos and exhibit games of Olean YMCA’s Pickleball. The Cattaraugus County Health Department will host a COVID vaccine clinic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Raffle opportunities give participants chances to win gift certificates to area restaurants, the newest Santa Claus Lane ornament, squirrel items and more.
Back again this year, free roller skating is open in the William O. Smith Recreation Center from noon to 5 p.m. courtesy of the chamber’s corporate sponsors. The Quick Arts Center ArtMobile will be there to run art activities and some make-n-takes, free to the public with materials provided.
The winners of the Taste of Olean Hospitality Awards will be recognized at 2 p.m. under the big tent in War Veterans Park. This year, the chamber introduces its fourteenth class of the Wall of Fame awards recipients with the late Mrs. Doris Mae Williams, Louis Frungillo, Jr. and Paul Green.
For more information on the Taste of Olean, call Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at (716) 372-4433 or email [email protected].