What does it take to create a destination? Will a single attraction, or even a group of attractions, be enough? Not likely. It also takes a strong business community to create a visitor experience that not only makes people want to visit, but also want to come back.
Here in Chautauqua County, we are incredibly fortunate to have both: an exceptional variety and number of attractions and extraordinary local restaurants and retailers. In the worlds of travel and development, some call it “creation of places”. What this means in simple terms is that there are exciting and interesting things to see and do, as well as a strong core of local businesses, each with their own personality, which complement the experience of visitors.
While we’re just skimming over some important and well-known events in Chautauqua County, we can see firsthand how each of them is making a difference in our communities. The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival returned this year for the first time since 2019, drawing crowds to a variety of venues for comedy shows, movies, block parties, and more. Plus, the annual Gerry Rodeo was back in full swing with exceptional staging and some of the best BBQ available. Although they were very different types of events, both spanned several days and brought people from near and far to our county.
What if I told you that these experiences aren’t just for strangers? What if I told you that you don’t have to wait for a festival or special event to find all the great things to see and do in Chautauqua County? It’s true. The same people who visited the Gerry Rodeo also dined at local restaurants while there, and people who visited the Comedy Festival also shopped at local stores and boutiques while there. As a resident of Chautauqua County, you can have these experiences every day.
The Chamber of Commerce is involved in organizing a number of community level events throughout the year. These events include Jamestown Cruise-In which takes place on Friday August 12th in downtown Jamestown, First Friday at Westfield which takes place on the first Friday of each month during the summer and the Mayville Winter Festival which takes place every Presidents Day weekend in February. These events are designed to help bring people into our communities and support local businesses nearby.
Local businesses that play a supporting role in festivals and events are here year-round. We’ve got plenty of cafes, lunch spots, fine restaurants, and little shops that stock everything from books to sweatshirts to homewares and more. These are places that we can enjoy at any time. We don’t have to wait until the first Friday to go to dinner at Westfield. We don’t have to wait until Cruise-In to have a great meal in downtown Jamestown. We don’t have to wait until one of the amazing events in any of our communities – from Dunkirk to Fredonia to Mayville to Silver Creek – to enjoy dining and shopping right here in our own backyard.
Placemaking may sound like jargon, but it really captures the feeling we have about this amazing place we call home. Any time is a good time to explore all of the outstanding community assets right here in Chautauqua County. If you are looking for local businesses or attractions, visit www.chautauquachamber.org or www.tourchautauqua.com. You will find more to do than you have time for.
JAMESTOWN CRUISE-IN EAST
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is once again working with Der Kobblers – a local car enthusiasts club – to present Jamestown Cruise-In. Now in its 29th year, Cruise-In will be held from 5-8 p.m. along Third Street in downtown Jamestown between Washington and Spring Streets and spanning the side streets between Second and Fourth. You can enjoy cool and classic vehicles, live music from In Crowd and food from local restaurants and the Babe Ruth World Series vendor tent.
Stop and shop at local businesses that will be offering extended hours for this event, then stay late for even more downtown as the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performs a first-ever event at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts with a musical tribute to Aretha Franklin or enjoy the third night of the Whirlybird Music & Arts Festival at several downtown locations.
Jamestown Cruise-In is sponsored by Cummins, AfterCare Nursing Services, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Producto Corporation, Shults Auto Group, Cattaraugus County Bank, Dot’s Gift Boutique, Elegant Edibles Catering, LaBella Associates, Lafayette Corners, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, and Media One Radio Group. Drivers who wish to participate can register online now through the Chamber’s Web Events Calendar for only $10 per vehicle or can drive and pay at the Third and Spring Street entrance between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the day of the event.
HOPS AND POPS IT’S SEPTEMBER 15
The Community Chambers of Commerce of Dunkirk and Fredonia are proud to present Hops and Pops, a great evening of beer and wine tastings, which will be held on Thursday September 15 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk .
Enjoy local wines, beers and appetizers! Samples will be available and you can buy by the bottle or by the case during your stay. Plus, there will be five $100 raffles throughout the night for a total of $500 – plus additional raffles and giveaways.
The cost is $15 per person or two for $25. Proceeds help support the Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce scholarship funds. Hops and Pops is sponsored by Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Farrell Roofing and LaBella Associates. Purchase tickets through the Chamber’s web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at (716) 366-6200 or (716) 484-1101 for the box office nearest you.