Buffalo, New York has long been the punchline of weather and economic decline jokes. Certainly, the occasional five foot snowstorm will snarl traffic and the city has been hard hit by the rust-belt manufacturing exodus, but Buffalo still has a lot to offer. Buffalo is the second largest city in New York and has much for tourists to do. Here are three reasons for tourists to visit Western New York.
The Taste of Buffalo
The Taste of Buffalo food festival takes place in downtown Buffalo every July. Fifty restaurants and several wineries offer sample portions of their best menu items for between $1.00 and $4.00.
In addition to the food and drink, music and other live entertainment is presented on three stages.
The Taste of Buffalo is the second largest festival of its kind in the country (behind the Taste of Chicago). Each year, more than 450,000 people enjoy the best that Buffalo’s culinary scene has to offer.
The Taste of Buffalo takes place along Delaware Avenue between Niagara Square and Chippewa Street annually on the weekend after Independence Day.
The Friendship Festival
As a border city, Buffalo has a unique relationship with its Canadian neighbors. With Canada Day falling only four days before the Fourth of July, Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario combine their independence celebrations into a four day party.
Concerts by American and Canadian acts draw thousands of visitors to the region. Beauty pageants, car shows, and family activities are also part of the ever-changing annual entertainment. The festival also includes the Hands Across the Border event on the Peace Bridge to highlight the solidarity between the two nations.
The festival is bookended by fireworks displays on Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4).
National Buffalo Wing Festival
The Buffalo Wing came to be in 1964 at the Anchor Bar when the owner fried the normally soup-bound chicken appendages and doused them in hot sauce for her son’s hungry friends.
The National Buffalo Wing Festival celebrates one of America’s most popular foods. The two day festival features wings from more than two dozen restaurants, all of which take part in the National Sauce Off competition. There is also an Amateur Sauce Off competition.
Other festival highlights include the Miss Buffalo Wing Competition, the Buffalo Wing Eating Competition, and Bobbing for Wings in kiddy pools full of blue cheese dressing.
An important thing to remember is that the locals say “chicken wing.” Calling the fried delights “Buffalo wings” will definitely label you as an out-of-towner.
The National Buffalo Wing Festival takes place at Coca-Cola Field in Downtown Buffalo every Labor Day Weekend.
These are just a few of the many things that attract tourists to Buffalo. Do you have a favorite? Tell me in the comments section.