Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
JUNE 16 - JUNE 24, 2015

Crogan's Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival Back, Bigger, Better Than Ever for 2015!

By Mike Hudson

JUNE 16, 2015

People, that's what you get at a Rick Corgan event. And unlike all the other whiny losers in this town like Hard Rock, Blues Fest, and others, Crogan puts on his Niagara Falls Music & Arts Festival without taking a dime of taxpayer money.
What's he got that they ain't got? How can Rick Crogan (above) put on a bigger and better show than Hard Rock without taxpayer subsidies?

The National Weather Service predicts a slight chance of a shower next Saturday evening, but it will take more than that to dampen the Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival, which kicks off Friday, June 19, on Old Falls Street.

Clear skies and temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s will allow the sun to shine on 26 food vendors, 56 artists and 34 bands, more than double the numbers of last year’s highly successful event.

Rick Crogan, who runs the event with his company, Balabans LLC, said that the support the festival has received this year has been beyond his wildest dreams.

“It is so nice to work with people you can trust that have your back and care about our city and the festival,” Crogan told the Niagara Falls Reporter. “I love each and every one of them for what they bring to the table and I can truly say these people are true friends.”

Crogan needed all the friends he could get just last year, shortly before the festival, when he was charged with grand larceny after being accused by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster’s supporter and former festival staffer Becky Marchetti of using festival funds for his own personal gain.

Dyster took to his Facebook page to attack Crogan and pronounce him guilty without the benefit of trial. Crogan stepped down from the festival board to face the charges, and the mayor moved quickly to make the popular event a city run proposition.

Rather than go through the time and expense of a lengthy court trial over a matter he maintains was nothing more than a clerical error, Crogan pleaded guilty to “taking something that did not belong to him” which led to a one year adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. But the attempted takeover of the festival he founded wasn’t forgotten by Crogan.

This year, Joseph Calato, founder and owner of Regal Tip, the world famous drum stick and percussion supplies manufacturer, will be honored for his lifetime contribution to the music industry.

A veritable Who’s Who of area political leaders have been invited and are expected to attend and honor the 94-year-old drum maven and entrepreneur with proclamations, including Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, state Rep. John Ceretto, county Legislators Dennis Virtuoso and Jason Zona and city Councilman and mayoral candidate Glenn Choolokian.

Conspicuously absent will be Dyster, who was not invited to attend.

The food promises to be amazing, with the usual fried dough, Indian cuisine, barbecue, pizza, falafel and doughnuts supplanted by gourmet macaroni and cheese from Macarollin, smoothies from Smoothies Plus and spicy Cajun fare provided by the Louisiana Cookery. Local spots like Viola’s subs, The Meeting Place, Big Guys Pizza, Yakisobas, Duke’s Donuts, The Falafel Hut, Louisianna Cookery, The Flaming Fish, Outback Kettle Korn, J & L BBQ, Jim’s Fried Dough, Niagara’s Honeymoon Sweets, Taste of India, Draft Root Beer Truck, Ice Cream Truck, Gene’s Seafood Truck and Dick and Jenny’s will offer seafood delicacies such as shrimp boil, oysters, raw and grilled, steamed and raw clams.
The Festival will also be selling its patented "Love Glasses" where once you put them on, all you can see is love.

Running through Sunday night, June 21, the festival will feature 34 different bands on two main stages. Headlining are JJ Swing, the Thurman Brothers, Tim Andrews and Den of Lions.

 Other musical acts encompass a wide range of genres, and include Billy Hickey, Cue the Sun, Holkampany, the Lakeside Blues Band, Rock Angel, Keith Shuskie, the Chicago Blues Connection, the Junkyard Dogs, Chris Borgatti & Friends, Rumourz, Tiger Chun Lee, the USA Band, Navigator, Dave Stayner, the Dee Adams Band and more.

Cindy Reinhardt, widow of Buffalo drummer Ted Reinhardt, who was killed in a plane crash earlier this year, will be performing with both the Junkyard Dogs and the Thurman Brothers during the festival and will accept an award named in honor of her late husband.

Fifty-six artists and artisans, some travelling from as far away as Florida, will be on hand and many will be creating art on the spot, including pottery making and wood carving.

This year marks the third for the festival, which has moved to Old Falls Street from its’ former Main Street Home. The Park Place Market, which usually opens on Main Street every Saturday, will accompany the festival downtown this weekend.

Festival hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Fun activities for the kids include face painting, hula hooping and other street art.

Eventually, Crogan said, he’d like to see the festival grow into something resembling the famed South By Southwest festival held each year in Austin, Texas. That week-long celebration of new and cutting edge music and art rakes in millions every year for the community.

“It’s starting to move where we want it to move and I’m excited,” he said. “I would just like to thank some people Theresa Brockman, Cindy & Mark Chilberg Christine Case, Mary Leahy, Sam & Jeanette Archie, Mike Brown, Tony Petrocelli, Erik Kenyon & of course Michael Murphy. These are the people that are making the Best Festival on Old Falls Street happen.”

His troubles behind him, Crogan’s boyish enthusiasm concerning the festival he created is infectious. Asked what he’d most like to tell people about his three-day event, he laughed.

“Come join us celebrate the great artists and musicians and eat all day long with our outrageous selection of food vendors,” he said. “And don't forget your lawn chairs!”





Criminal Investigators Visit Lockport Over Asbestos Exposure at Shaw Bldg.
Cricket Field Location Changes to 61st Street, Grandinetti Announces
Newfane Teacher Anello Cleared; Real Justice Remains Elusive in Case
NYC Rent Control, SAFE Act Linked In Upstate vs. Downstate Battle
Crogan's Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival Back, Bigger, Better Than Ever for 2015!
You Wanna Buy Swampland in Lewiston?
Wolfgang's Subdivision Plans Move Closer to Approval Timing Coincides with Lewiston Plan to Solve Riverwalk Drainage
Jayne Park "Scenic overlook" Can't Be Used by Wheelchair-Bound Here
Dyster's New Canoe Launch More Up River Without Paddle Pork Here
More Jayne Park Nonsense
Zahno Displaces Townsend - At Least for Now at Top Union Water Board Post
Another Stroke of Genius From the Great One
It's Official: Run for the Rapids 5K Race Invalidated, Downtown Niagara Falls Business Association Faulted
Massive National Fuel compressor to Shake up Placid Town of Pendleton
Only in NT: No More Ceremonial Officials! Do the Jobs You're Supposed To Do
Pollinator Week Allows People to Celebrate the Bats and the Bees
Authentic Columbus Replica Ships to Arrive in Tonawanda
Wheaton Runs ECC With Iron Fist
Brochey Ranked First in USA in Bench Press for Age, Weight Class
City Hall Jokes

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina