St. Bonaventure University and the Village of Allegany Team Up Again to Present “Bonagany” Sept. 22
In towns and cities with college campuses, it is not rare to find a weekend where the two come together to celebrate each other. The colleges give the townspeople jobs and boost the local economy (frequently, the late-night food and beverage market) while the town gives the campus population a place to escape from the classroom.
Every year, St. Bonaventure University and the Village of Allegany, NY come together to give the community just this kind of festival - Bonagany. Now in its 7th year of existence, Bonagany provides a local economic boost for the town while also giving the students - oftentimes accompanied by their parents - a reason to help out and give back to the community. Falling on St. Bonaventure’s Family Weekend, it is a win-win for all parties involved.
St. Bonaventure and Allegany are closely knit, mainly because of how close they are in proximity to each other - as well as how many students live in off-campus housing located in the village. This ever-revolving door of new student faces in town and on campus gives each Bonagany a fresh feel every year.
Tony Lee, a current Integrated Marketing and Communications graduate student at St. Bonaventure, didn’t know what to expect when he first went to Bonagany.
"Bonagany pleasantly surprised me. I thought it was going to be just for adults and nothing for college students. But from the music to the food to the art, it was really enjoyable."
This year, Bonagany falls on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 11am-5pm. The feel is very family-oriented, and there are a multitude of activities for both young and old. Main Street is closed during this time, allowing for an easy walk along the storefronts and restaurants.
If you’ve never been to Allegany, try the steak, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich from Linger Longer Café. You will not regret it. For the kids, they will not be disappointed (and mom and dad, you’ll be able to keep them occupied). There’s the ever-present balloon man, jugglers, wagon rides and inflatable bounce houses - as well as Fowler’s Taffy, which is a must for any festival.
And mom and dad, you also will have plenty to do as well. There are a number of food vendors, as well as art showings from local artists, and a classic car lineup. Some of the artists - all regional - include Dee Smith, Don Black, Bill Smith and others.
"My favorite part had to have been the artists. It's amazing to see a lot of unique artwork, from 3D paintings to interesting sculptures,” Lee said. "I was also pleasantly surprised by the diversity. It seemed like Bonagany made an effort to be more multicultural this year."
The beauty of Bonagany is that it benefits two entities in the same vicinity. Allegany is helped economically by St. Bonaventure while also providing the small-town feel for the college kids.
"It's great to see St. Bonaventure help out and participate in it,” Lee said. “Even more, it was great to see the Olean/Allegany community support the university, too."