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Taste of Buffalo to return in-person this summer

The Taste of Buffalo is planning a COVID-mindful return this year, allowing for a Buffalo favorite to happen in-person.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Last summer, the pandemic caused a Buffalo-favorite event to be put on pause. Buffalonians lost out on a weekend full of food and fun in Niagara Square.

But that changes in 2021: the Taste of Buffalo has announced its plans to return to its in-person format for this summer.

The food festival is being planned for July 10 and 11. Things will look different though, according to the all-volunteer Board of Directors for the festival. The festival will have multiple ticketed sessions held over the festival weekend.

The Taste of Buffalo says this change is planned for 2021 only.

"The Taste of Buffalo has always existed to support our locally owned restaurants. After so many of them have endured unthinkable hardships during the pandemic, our mission is more important now than ever," said Taste of Buffalo 2021 Chair Amber Hartman.  

Organizers say they will release more information about how to buy tickets as the event gets closer.

"We are working with our state and county officials to follow all safety guidelines that may be in place come this July. We hope this announcement gives our community something to look forward to this summer and sends a message to our local restaurants that better days are ahead," added Hartman.

Hartman explained how the event would work for people with tickets.

"We are planning to do ticketed sessions," Hartman said. "About five sessions throughout the weekend in order for us to be able to comply with all of those guidelines, so if capacity is still one of the guidelines in effect in July, obviously that's something that we're going to have to account for. We're planning on doing that through a ticketed event. But right now, all of those details will be released closer to the event as we continue to work with state and local officials."

The Taste of Buffalo won't stretch as far down Delaware Avenue as it normally does.

We also asked if people will have to take a COVID-19 test or show proof of vaccination before they go.

"That's going to depend on what the local guidance requires, so if the local guidance for mass gatherings of events such as the Taste of Buffalo will require those, we'll comply with any required guidelines that the state and local officials deem appropriate," Hartman said.

Canal Fest is back on this year July 18 through July 25, but organizers aren't sure what it will look like yet.

Buffalo's Garden Walk is scheduled for July 24 and 25.

As of now, the Erie County Fair is scheduled for August 11 through August 22, and organizers tell us they're still waiting for guidelines from the state in regards to the fair.

And, the Ride for Roswell is August 7. It will be different this year. You can do it in-person that day or on your own any time in August. And to space people out August 7, 50 riders will depart every 20 minutes.