Embracing Diversity and Culture: The 10 Best Festivals in Buffalo, New York

Written by: Tori Schlosser, MBA ’24

Buffalo, New York, is a city that thrives on its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and diverse community. Throughout the year, Buffalo plays host to hundreds of festivals that celebrate the city’s unique character and the eclectic interests of its residents. From music and art to food and culture, these festivals showcase the best of Buffalo. Here are the top 10 festivals that you shouldn’t miss:

  • National Buffalo Wing Festival
Chicken wings

Every Labor Day weekend, wing enthusiasts from across the nation flock to Buffalo to celebrate the birthplace of the iconic Buffalo wing. The National Buffalo Wing Festival features wing-eating competitions, live music, and, of course, an array of delicious wing flavors to satisfy every palate.

  • Allentown Art Festival
People at the Allentown Art Festival

Recognized as one of the nation’s premier outdoor arts festivals, the Allentown Art Festival takes place in the historic Allentown neighborhood. Thousands of artists showcase their talents, offering visitors the chance to explore a vast array of unique and creative works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and handmade crafts.

  • Taste of Buffalo
Multiple stalls set up for the Taste of Buffalo

For food enthusiasts, the Taste of Buffalo is a culinary extravaganza that brings together the city’s top restaurants to showcase their signature dishes. From gourmet treats to classic comfort food, this festival allows attendees to savor the diverse flavors that define Buffalo’s culinary landscape.

  • Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts
Art pieces on display in tents at the Elmwood Avenue Festival

Celebrating the artistic spirit of Buffalo, the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts transforms Elmwood Avenue into a vibrant showcase of visual and performing arts. Attendees can enjoy live music, dance performances, and browse through a diverse range of art exhibits and installations.

  • Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry blossoms

Inspired by the beauty of cherry blossoms, this springtime festival is a celebration of nature, culture, and the arrival of warmer weather. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese performances, explore the blooming cherry trees, and participate in various cultural activities.

  • Music Is Art Festival
People walking by at the Music is Art Festival

Founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac, the Music Is Art Festival celebrates the power of music and its impact on the community. Held at the RiverWorks complex, the festival features live performances, art installations, and opportunities for attendees to engage with the local music scene.

  • Canal Fest of the Tonawandas
People walking around the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas

Celebrating the Erie Canal and the communities along its path, the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas is a week-long festival held in July. Events include a parade, live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities. The festival’s highlight is the impressive fireworks display over the canal.

  • Buffalo Porchfest
People sitting down for the Buffalo Porchfest

A grassroots music festival that takes place on the front porches of homes throughout the Elmwood Village neighborhood, Buffalo Porchfest brings the community together for a day of live music and neighborhood camaraderie. Attendees can stroll through the streets, enjoying a wide variety of musical genres.

  • Buffalo Greek Fest
People dancing at the Buffalo Greek Fest

Celebrating the rich heritage of Buffalo’s Greek community, this festival offers a taste of Greek culture through traditional music, dance performances, and, of course, authentic Greek cuisine. Visitors can indulge in delicious gyros, souvlaki, and baklava while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere.

  • Dyngus Day
People riding the bus through the Dyngus Day parade

Concluding our list is Dyngus Day, a Polish-American tradition celebrated with enthusiasm in Buffalo. Taking place on Easter Monday, this festival features parades, live music, and the unique tradition of water and pussy willow tapping, symbolizing the light-hearted end to the Lent season.

Buffalo, NY, stands as a testament to the diverse and dynamic cultural scene that defines this great city. The festivals listed above offer a glimpse into the heart of Buffalo, showcasing its artistic spirit, culinary delights, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these festivals provide an opportunity to embrace the vibrant and welcoming community that makes Buffalo truly one of a kind.

Tori Schlosser, MBA '24

Bio: Tori was born and raised in Buffalo, New York with her three younger siblings. She is the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree and pursue a master’s degree. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University at Buffalo majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Her undergraduate experience convinced her to continue her professional development and pursue her MBA at UB.

In her free time, Tori loves to read, do arts and crafts, and traveling. Tori loves spending time with her friends outside the classroom to keep a work-life balance. Finding time to relax and enjoy quality time with friends has been immensely beneficial to her success in the MBA program. 

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