Allentown Art Festival

Allentown is named after Lewis F. Allen (1800-1890) who came to Buffalo in April 1827 to serve as Corporate Secretary and Financial Manager of an Insurance company. Allen was also a farmer and when looking for space to let his cattle pasteurize, purportedly his neighbor, Thomas Day, suggested some of his land, which sat between the cities of Buffalo and Black Rock. Allen’s cattle path became known as Allen Street. Notably, Allen was one of the founders of the Buffalo Historical Society and Forest Lawn, where he is buried. Allen was married to Margaret Cleveland Allen and was the uncle of president Grover Cleveland. Allen introduced his nephew to many influential people, including the partners in the law firm of Rogers, Bowen, and Rogers  where Cleveland later took a clerkship which led him to practice law and enter into politics.

The Allentown district is a neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. The neighborhood is home to the Allentown Historic District.

The Allentown Art Festival, originally known as the Buffalo Art Festival, is an event started by Jason Natowitz in 1958, beginning as a small town meeting to stimulate business in the neighborhood. The meeting triggered the foundation of the Allentown Village Society, and, by August, plans were in the works for an outdoor art show in the town, which occurred the following month in September 1958. With only 50 artists, the event quickly became very successful. Louis Cherenzia, another one of the founders, noted "It was rated as the most colorful cultural event in Buffalo since the Pan-American Exposition." Following the event, the town recognized its success, and announced plans for a second annual.

"The Buffalo Art Festival" quickly came to be identified with its more precise location, Allentown, and eventually its name became "Allentown Art Festival".

The Allentown Art Festival has grown since its beginnings 50 years ago. Support of the Allentown Village Society, Inc. and its number of volunteers has essentially stayed the same. According to the official website, "Their labors have borne fruit beyond the annual Allentown Art Festival weekend and beyond the boundaries of the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo."

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