Cassadaga Labor Day Festival returns

CASSADAGA — Cassadaga will be hosting its annual Labor Day Festival on Sunday Sept. 1 and Monday Sept. 2.

The action begins on Sunday with the Farmers Market at Ames Common 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs and other local items will be there. Next is the boat parade. Mardi Gras is the theme, so deck your boat (any kind) out and meet at the DEC launch at 4 p.m. There will be prizes! The parade will travel to Cassadaga Beach to the floating stage. The best viewing for the boat parade is at Cassadaga Beach on Park Ave. Then a free concert with “Dos,” a two-man rock and roll extravaganza will be playing all your favorite classic rock and oldies. They will be playing from 5-7 p.m. and Stanfield’s Hotdogs and Lemonade Stand will be there, too. Bring a blanket or chair or come by boat whether you are part of the parade or not.

On Monday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a craft and vendor show at Ames Common. Kev’s Kitchen with his famous Cajun food will be there. At 11 a.m. a grand parade will march down Maple Avenue. 

At noon, the cultural phenomenon — the Ducky Derby, will take place at the bridge on Maple Avenue and Mill Street, sponsored by the Cassadaga Lakes Association. Buy your tickets for this at Shurfine, at the craft and vendor show or call the Ducky Derby hotline at 410-0673. Prizes include a first prize of $200 along with other donated gifts and certificates from local businesses. This is CLA’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The CLA is a nonprofit organization that works to protect and enhance the three connected Cassadaga Lakes. Yearly projects include weed harvesting, water quality testing and education programs to help keep the waters safe and clean. Those wishing for more information on the CLA can visit their website at: or on Facebook.

For more information on the Ducky Derby, contact Julie VanValkenburg, chairwoman at 410-0673 or email her at

The fun is not over yet! At 1:30, starting at the beach on Park Avenue is the walk/run/bike dice roll! Registration is at 1 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 16. This event is a 5K around the lake. You choose how you want to travel (walk, run or bicycle). Participants stop at stations around the lake, roll the dice and tally their scores. Cash prizes for high and low scores and more! 

To close out the summer, there will be Flares on the Lakes at 8 p.m. This is a sight to behold and can be witnessed from all around the lake. If anyone wants to purchase flares, please call 673-6649.

The Cassadaga Labor Day Festival is sponsored by the Citizens for a Better Cassadaga, Cassadaga Lakes Association and the Village of Cassadaga. For more information, please call 665-8855.

Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen’s Convention activities coming to Westfield

Observer JUL 29, 2013
WESTFIELD – Time is drawing near for the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen’s annual convention. Preparations are being finalized for all of the coming events, as fire departments and companies from the four counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie prepare to make their way to Westfield.

The convention will begin Wednesday, as firefighters and EMS personnel arrive to set up their dugouts at the various properties.

The first community activity will be Wednesday the “Kick-Off Dinner” to get the convention under way. This will be held at the fire hall from 4 to 7 p.m. This steak and potato dinner is also open to the public. Contact a Westfield Fire Department member for the $10 pre-sale tickets; the cost is $12 at the door.

A memorial service for firefighters from all four counties who have passed away throughout the previous year will be held on Friday morning in the auditorium of the Westfield School. This service is also open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m.

The Comic Parade, formerly known as the Grotesque Parade, will begin at 7 p.m. on Aug. 2. Rules have been changed recently by the SwAVF so this should be enjoyed by all as a family-friendly event. The parade will start on Cottage Street and end at the fire hall. Comic Parade awards will be announced at 8:30, followed by a dance at 9 p.m. with music provided by Kool Toonz.

The culmination of the convention is the Grand Parade on Aug. 3 at 3 p.m. The parade will begin at the Westfield School and end up at the fire hall, with awards being presented at 7:30 p.m.