Celebrate Salamanca Day set for Saturday

Seneca dancers demonstrate one of their dances during the second Celebrate Salamanca Day last year. This year’s event is set for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SALAMANCA — The city of Salamanca and the Seneca Nation of Indians have come together again to host the third annual Celebrate Salamanca Day this Saturday.

The showcase event, running along Main Street and East Race Street in the city, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The celebration will feature an estimated 30 vendors offering locally made goods, crafts, food and more.

Mayor Michael “Smitty” Smith said he’s been impressed by the growth of the celebration in its first two years and hopes to see the same — if not more — in its third.

“We do this every year to celebrate what this city is and what makes it truly unique: we’re the only city placed completely on a reservation,” Smith told the Press in a previous interview. He said Celebrate Salamanca is a way to show appreciation for what makes the city beautiful, most specifically the area’s Seneca culture.

Attendees can expect many of their favorite attractions to make a return this year, including performances by Salamanca Dance Center and the Seneca Youth Dancers as well as exhibitions from the Shuhari Karate Dojo and the Salamanca Fire Department.

Smith stressed how important the local talents and vendors are to the Celebrate Salamanca bash, making them truly special experiences every year.

“We’ve got these incredibly talented people: dancers, craftsmen, chefs, but unfortunately we don’t always have a way to show them off,” he explained, “... the celebration is a way to show others what we can do, and what we’re all about.”

For patrons looking to get interactive, Seneca Gaming has once again provided the Money Machine, giving participants the opportunity to walk into a booth empty-handed and walk out with real cash. Last year, the Money Machine gave out prizes totaling $1,300.

As always, traditional fixtures for the day will include horse and buggy rides over the Main Street bridge to behind the Holy Cross Club, provided by The Crosspatch Ranch.

From there, those looking to relax can enjoy a short canoe trip down the Allegheny River. Free catch-and-release fishing in designated areas will be provided by the Seneca Nation as well.

“The river really is a luxury, so providing these trips is a way to show people that it isn’t like white water rafting,” the mayor added. “It’s really really fun — definitely something the whole family can come out and enjoy.”

The popular fairgrounds game “I Got It!” will also be included this weekend. Families and superfans alike can come to test their skills, and luck, in this carnival classic.

As part of the celebration, the city of Salamanca and the Seneca Nation will be hosting a special entertainment event Friday evening, July 12. Featured entertainment will also include the ever-popular Porcelain Bus Drivers, performing Saturday evening to wrap up the day’s festivities.

With great food and exciting entertainment, surrounded by culture and tradition, come celebrate Salamanca this Saturday.