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2 ways to shop alfresco this summer

With warm weather upon us, why spend time shopping indoors? Two city markets recur throughout summer to satisfy your shopping itch while soaking in the precious summer weather.

Shop, Rock n’ Stroll

June 24, July 29, Aug. 26, and Sept. 30 from 6-9 p.m.
Hertel Avenue, from Saranac Avenue to the historic North Park Theatre block

Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo is hopping, and one seasonal event contributing to its resurgence is Shop, Rock N’ Stroll. For the past nine years, Hertel-area businesses have come together to support this monthly family-friendly event. Local bands set up along Hertel Avenue, there’s free face painting and you can play oversized games like Connect Four and Cornhole. Shops set up outdoor stands, stay open late and offer free refreshments. Owner of P.S. Accessories and event organizer Sarah Nichter has planned this event since its beginning, and can’t believe how much it’s grown and how many new businesses want to be involved. “As business owners, we want to give something back to the community,” said Nichter. “People really look forward to these events and we’re happy to put them on each month.”

Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market

June 18, July 2 & 16, Aug. 6 & 13, Sept. 3 & 17 and Oct. 8
Canalside, Buffalo

Canalside has exploded with activity in the past three years. Julie Leatherbarrow, lead director of the Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market (SAM), jumped at the opportunity to direct a local market here. “Once I saw the waterfront, I could picture [the market] right away. It’s something great for downtown,” said Leatherbarrow. A glass blower by trade, Leatherbarrow has lived in multiple cities throughout the U.S. and has participated in different artisan markets. “I’ve seen how cities have developed their cultural industry around their natural landmarks,” she said. After returning home to Western New York, Leatherbarrow was excited to lead a market at the base of Buffalo’s growing waterfront.

SAM occurs two Saturday mornings each month and features live music, dance performances, food trucks and nearly 35 vendors. Leatherbarrow and her partner, Robin Lenhard, have kicked up the market vibe by inviting bands, school programs, and local dance studios to perform alongside the vendors. “People expect the artists, but they don’t always expect the quality music and overall fun atmosphere” explained Leatherbarrow. Expect to see local vendors selling woodwork, mosaic glass designs, handmade apparel, jewelry and garden sculptures. The 89 artists featured at SAM switch on and off, so you’ll see new vendors if you visit the market more than once.

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