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By Craig Braack

Top 10 reasons to attend the Estival Festival this year in Caneadea NY

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The Allegany County music and art festival is June 23rd to 25th

Don’t miss the “Infamous Stringdusters”!

By Midge VanEtten, Estival Festival veteran

1 – An unparalleled variety of entertainment for people of all ages. With incredible music, art, hot air balloon rides, games, artist demonstrations, morning meditation, yoga, community fire, fire spinning shows and workshops, Slyboots Circus tent, stilt walkers, parades, Soundgarden, and drumming workshops, Firewalk, Fireworks, Raffles, and more… Family-friendly.

2-Sugar Mountain is a place where you can build memories that will last a lifetime. An abundance of activities for children. The Kids Zone is back bigger and better this year with carnival-type rides, bounce houses, dance lessons, little groovers dance party, bubble party, magician, face painters, balloon artist, rides, soccer, volleyball, A chance for them to learn new things, make crafts, play games, socialize, enjoy and snacks, games for children of every age, and much more!

3- Estival Festival brings money into Allegany County. Out-of-town visitors have the opportunity to witness the beauty and places of interest in other parts of our county as well. This festival grows tourism.

4- The opportunity to experience live music from a variety of genres. One of the bands I am looking forward to is The Infamous Stringdusters. They are a progressive acoustic/bluegrass band that first emerged in 2006. The band was founded in Nashville in 2005. They balance a fluency in old-timey bluegrass and indie jam grass sensibilities with an emphasis on strong instrumental work plus a sound that’s both organic and groove friendly. More favorites include High Pines, Digging Roots Band, Miller and the Other Sinners, Uncle Ben’s Remedy, Herbal Tonic, Djs, and many more performing on 3 stages. This year there will also be an open mike session.

5- The music is only rivaled by the art. With over 80 vendors offering a plethora of unique items and services. I asked April Carrol, who registered the vendors for the festival, about what was available this year. She told me, the group is pretty diverse. Art, crafts, pottery, house plants, jewelry, crystal & minerals, honey, maple syrup, Hula hoops, henna, woodworkers, massage therapy, psychic readings, tarot card readings, tie-dyes, glass art and glass blowing, and classic hippy/festival goods.

6- Delicious affordable food. With a newly appointed Sugar Mountain kitchen and an expanded menu. Bluegrass Barbeque, with grillmaster Delany Hovey. Creative Cup with your favorite brew and coffee-based drinks. And perhaps a sweet surprise.

7- Stay for the day or camp out. A variety of camping options with a ticket, including private camping, RV camping, and general camping. Children are free, and teenagers 13-17 tickets are reduced price. Day tickets are available. Please see the Estival Festival website for more information.

8- Location, location, location. Right here in Allegany County. Set on a beautiful property a short distance from Allen Lake. Whether you come for a day or camp, treat yourself to a walk in the woods. Sugar Mountain is a great place to wander in the woods and reconnect with the beauty of nature, and with yourself. It is an amazing place to watch the sunrise and enjoy the sunset and the perfect place to stargaze. Photo opportunities are endless. First-class amenities! 3 stages, a community bonfire, ample and clean sanitary portable facilities, hot showers, gravel roads, and available water, are things that make it so comfortable.

9- And, yes, there is cell phone service ! I have attended and enjoyed each of the 4 previous Estival Festivals, and my personal favorite part of all of them has been the sense of community I have experienced each time.

10- The Estival Festival is magical. Turning strangers into friends and family and creating a place of acceptance, camaraderie, respect, kindness, sharing, and enchantment for all who visit Sugar Mountain.

When I am there I feel connected with everyone and everything around me, my heart and mind become more open and peaceful, and I feel at home. In my book, it is hands down a not to be missed part of summer. I hope to see you there.

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