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Taste of Buffalo gets approval from health officials for in-person festival

There will still be COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Taste of Buffalo has been approved for an in-person event this summer.

The festival received approvals from local and state health officials to hold the festival in-person on July 10 and 11. 

There will still be COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

To control crowd capacity, the event will no longer allow free, general admission.  The festival will be divided into timed sessions throughout the weekend and those that attend will need to purchase tickets online prior to the festival for one of the timed sessions. 

"We have to limit the number of patrons that can attend the Taste of Buffalo at any one time, so it will be a ticketed event. More details about where to get your tickets and how to get your tickets will be coming over the next couple of weeks, but it will be a timed session," says Taste of Buffalo Chairwoman Amber Hartman.

Before you can enter the festival, you will need to show that you are either fully vaccinated, or have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past three days. 

Face coverings will be required, except when you are eating or drinking. Tents will also be altered to allow for proper social distancing. 

“Our board has spent months working to host one of the first true in-person festivals anywhere in New York State since the pandemic began, and to do so in a safe manner," Taste of Buffalo Chairwoman Amber Hartman said. “We couldn’t be happier to say the Taste of Buffalo is a go for 2021!”

“The return of the Taste of Buffalo event is one more sign that our community is emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Department Commissioner. “We appreciate the care and attention that the Taste directors dedicated to the health considerations for this event. Our department is available to work with other organizations planning larger scale events this summer, to ensure they meet New York State guidelines.”

You'll buy food and drink tickets when you get there, but your admission ticket does come with some food tickets this year.

"We will stop serving, stop providing, and then patrons will be asked to leave the footprint to allow the next session's patrons to join us and come through the entrance and start to purchase their tickets as well as start sampling food and drinks," says Hartman.

Organizers are still working out the details for ticketing and admission. They expect to release more information in the coming weeks. 

"The guidance changes from day to day, so, you know, obviously, we want to allow the greatest number of participants to be part of the event, so we have not finalized those numbers yet. We are expecting at least 20,000 or more to be able to come through the event over the course of the weekend," Hartman said.