Chamber Corner – May 31, 2021

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Article Contributed by
Todd J. Tranum
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

Summer Events Return to Chautauqua County

Memorial Day is always a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served our country and those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our democracy. We hope you’ll take some time this weekend to honor them.

Memorial Day weekend is always the unofficial start of the summer season here in our part of the country. And wow!!! The summer lineup of ‘things to do’ is coming back strong from what was an unusual past year. This summer will present all Chautauqua County residents and visitors with plenty of opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and entertainment.

The list of events that will be held is growing daily. It includes an in-person summer season at Chautauqua Institution which opens June 26 with an Amphitheater performance by Grammy Award winner Chris Thile and closes August 28 with iconic performer Smokey Robinson.

In the Jamestown area the National Comedy Center is hosting a series of Riverside Saturday events, that include outdoor movie presentations at Comedy Center Park and additional entertainment, in place of the postponed annual Comedy Festival. In addition, the Gerry Rodeo will be back this year August 4-7, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks will play baseball at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park, and the Babe Ruth World Series will be held August 14-21.

In Mayville, Chautauqua Lake Pops is offering live entertainment on the Floating Stage each weekend through the summer beginning July 10. The Mayville-Community Chamber of Commerce will host free live music in the park on Thursdays beginning July 8, and the Celtic Festival is set for August 27-28 at Lakeside Park.

In Westfield, the popular First Friday street fairs organized by the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber resume June 4 and continue each month through September. The Westfield YWCA Arts & Crafts Festival will also resume this year July 30-31 at Moore Park.

In the Dunkirk-Fredonia region there will be lots happening as well. The Strawberry Festival is slated for June 12-13 at Merritt Estate Winery in Forestville. America’s Grape Country Wine Festival is August 6-8 at the Chautauqua County Fairgounds in Dunkirk. The Fredonia Farm Festival will be held August 27-28.

Look for live music at numerous local venues, wineries, breweries and park pavilions throughout the summer. In addition, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities including golf, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, camping, and much more. Many communities will host Farmers Markets throughout the summer months. For a complete up to date list of events, places to go, and things to do this summer, check the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau web calendar at www.tourchautauqua.com.

We remind you to please support local entertainment, local restaurants, local shops, and all local businesses when you’re enjoying a great summer ahead!

Take Advantage of Easily Accessible Vaccinations

Numerous businesses and entertainment venues throughout the region have adjusted their mask policies in the wake of New York State’s recent announcement that those who are vaccinated can go without a mask in public settings. Some businesses have determined that – rather than inquire about vaccine status – they will still require masks for employees and customers. Others are putting patrons on the honor system. Some large venues may still be required to use proof of vaccination, such as a vaccine passport, for admission. The New York State Excelsior Pass is designed to provide proof of vaccination without providing a direct view of personal health records. All of these options are now available to each individual business as they determine how best to handle their own staff and customers. We ask that you respect the rules in each setting.

In addition, it is abundantly clear that the only reason we have moved in the direction of going mask-less is because more and more people continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccines are safe, readily available – often without an appointment – and free. They have been thoroughly tested and now everyone aged 12 and over is eligible to take the vaccine.

To find a provider convenient to you, check out the Chautauqua County Health Department website, or visit vaccinehound.org/Chautauqua or The Chautauqua Center website at tcchealth.org. The Chamber and MAST continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The pandemic is not over, and variants continue to spread as the virus finds unvaccinated hosts. We strongly recommend vaccination as a way to protect yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and our economy.