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SUBMITTED by K. Moolchan (9-Sep-2010)

Ontario Festival Promoted Solar Energy and Great Live Music

Live Music
Drinkin wine with your dinner… upstate… is a line from one of Chris Staub’s upstate New York folk tunes, a bluegrassy ballad of a farmer-wannabe who comes up from the (New York) City to work on the farm in a place like Ontario, New York. On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Staub once again hosted the Ontario Barn Festival at his picturesque farm property on Whitney Road, in Ontario, about 15 minutes east of Rochester, where happy folks gathered and enjoyed the live indie bluegrass and acoustic music, fed merrily on American Legion BBQ and sipped Billsboro wines.
“What I like best about the Ontario Barn Festival is that after each full year of planning, on the day it all goes down, I get to sit in a lawn chair, watch our guests dancing on the grass to the mesmerizingly wonderful music of Hypnotic Clambake, Norman Hasman or Waitin on a Train.”
Staub plans to develop and license a limited production winery later this year at the site. This year’s audience came from not only the local neighborhoods of Ontario, Webster, Williamson, Churchville, Greece and Rochester, but also from Toronto, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Stevenage England, New Paltz and Sugar Loaf, NY. The local motels were full.

The annual Ontario Barn Festival took place on Saturday of this past Labor Day weekend, topped its historic attendance and had the best live music performances to date. It aims to instill itself into peoples’ minds as the default Rochester area fun event for many Labor Day weekends to come.

Norman Hasman and Friends,  opening the Ontario Barn Festival

The festival opened at 11 am with Norman Hasman and Friends. “Norm is one of the most interesting persons I have ever met”, said Staub. “We met him last summer at Johnny’s Irish on Culver in Rochester. He was jamming on acoustic guitar with String Theory, a local bluegrass band, one Tuesday night. I immediately learned Norm was plugged into the area’s bluegrass scene and not only that, he twice got shot down over Germany in WWII and both times escaped from Nazi captors!" Staub went on to explain, “Norm is a unique animal and quite a gentleman. He relates “multi-generationally” with so many people. A crowd of 20-somethings typically hoot and stomp to his music at Johnny’s every Tuesday.” Hasman offered to support the Ontario Barn Festival because it aimed to be a great local outdoor live music festival, but also because it supported development of solar energy, something Hasman appreciates.

The festival opened with a sunny, windy day, with about a hundred folks on the lawn around noon. Wind gusts blew a large tent top from over peoples’ heads and deposited it upside-down into the adjacent vineyards. The bands and the crowd were not affected by the mishap and the show went on. There were stellar performances from Waitin on a Train, the perennial Ontario Barn Festival band that traveled up from York PA for the event. The premiere pop, self-actualization band Hypnotic Clambake, a Rochester favorite, gave an outstanding performance, delighting the audience outdoors and when some light showers appeared mid-afternoon, Maury Rosenberg, the captivating, acordian-playing band leader, marched his band from the stage and into the iconic barn, not missing a beat, as the entire audience followed in Pied Piper-ish fashion.

As many in Rochester know, Hypnotic Clambake is a high-energy, fun band and usually when they leave a stage, a show is truly about baked, but at Saturday’s Ontario Barn Fesival, Mal Blum, a young “emo” solo acoustic artist from Suffern, New York, the Brementown Musicians (Boston, M A), a duet of young, talented guitar and banjo playing brothers and The Instruments Band kept the audience stomping.

“I was really pleased with the quality of our live music this year, “ Staub said. "My son James recommended we get the Instruments Band and wow, were we ever impressed.”

At least a dozen festival goers expressed interest in the solar and wind energy display presented by Savant Solar. “Each year, the Ontario Barn Festival will be a success if just one audience member is inspired and adapts photovoltaic solar to their house,” said Staub. Information about the Ontario Barn Festival and the developing Ontario Barn Vineyards winery can be found at www.OntarioBarnFestival.com.

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1 Comment to "Ontario Barn Festival"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    We couldn't make it that day,something came up. Sorry we missed it really wanted to go. We went for a ride looking for your winery, can't find where you are, no sign,nothing. Are you in town of Ontairo or ontario county? Why you giving to post in Canadaigua and not town of Ontairo post? Guess it doesn't manner, just wondered. Have a great day.

    Posted on Fri Sep 17, 08:49:00 AM EDT

     

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