Soak Up the Sun

Now celebrating its 67th historic year, Art in the Park is dedicated to excellence in visual arts and handcrafted goods, as well as enhancing and promoting the visual arts and the talented artists and artisans in the area. Simultaneously, the 26th annual Taste of Olean will once again showcase the best of Olean’s restaurants with numerous food vendors serving up their best to the public al fresco.  It all takes place Sunday, July 24th.

This year’s festivities will be held in a new location! To avoid the street re-construction on North Union, this year the event will be held in War Vets Park, at the corner of Front and East State Streets across from Bradner Stadium in Olean, New York.  Bill Aiello, Mayor of Olean and member of the Taste committee said, “War Veterans Park will be an ideal location.  The layout of the park, the electricity capacity, water, and the pavilion – all add up to a great spot.”

There will no doubt be something for everyone at this year’s Art in the Park/Taste of Olean: visitors can tour the various tent galleries, talk to the artists about their work and purchase pieces directly from the artists while children play in the bounce houses or on the playground. Get something to eat at the Taste of Olean and enjoy live performances. Wander through this beautiful park of mature shade trees, eat at the many picnic tables or in the dining pavilion, and take a dip in the public pool. This an ideal, family-friendly destination to spend the entire day!  Put the date on your calendar and make plans for a tasty, art-filled summer day.

Let’s break it down for you …

THE TASTES -- Restaurants will present "tastes" of foods, not whole meals or sandwiches - smaller portions with affordable costs between 50 cents and $3.50. Restaurants are encouraged to promote their famous dishes, to introduce a new menu item or a specialty drink.  The taste also encourages restaurants to feature a healthy option. The Taste of Olean is co-sponsored by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, its 49 corporate sponsors, National Grid Co., and THE MOUNTAIN radio stations.  Admission to the event is free. Pay as you eat! During the course of the day, the Taste of Olean will announce the recipients of this year’s Hospitality Wall of Fame awards, recognizing the individuals or businesses who have made a significant contribution to the local food service/ hospitality industry.

THE ARTS -- Art in the Park, sponsored by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council and held in conjunction with the Taste, is a juried fine arts show with a long-standing tradition of showcasing the finest art in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. Ribbons will be awarded in various categories.  Final deadline for artists to secure a booth is July 10at

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS -- Theater Workshop of Olean will be lining up the musical entertainment featuring local talent.

FAMILY FUN -- The Taste is a festival for the entire family. There is a children's area with inflatables from the Olean Family YMCA.  The Y will sell the all-day jump wristbands for $6 each with a family pass for $20 (up to 5 kids). Eric Jones will be on-site with his famous Caricature drawings.  Balloon animals and face painting will also be available.  The William O. Smith Recreation Center swimming pool will be open from noon-5pm and will have FREE admission courtesy of the GOACC’s 50 corporate sponsors.

BACK AGAIN THIS YEAR -- Jamestown Community College Alumni Association will host the second “Marketplace @ The Taste” during the event. Marketplace @ The Taste is a way to showcase the best local food and catalog vendors.  It will be a great opportunity to showcase locally produced fruits and vegetables as well as packaged sauces, honey, mixes, jams, jellies, pies, cheeses, and more.

NEW THIS YEAR -- Genesee Valley Central School will bring their ROBO-JAGs to the Taste of Olean. The team creates robots that are then entered into competitions.  The robots will be on-hand at the event.

For more information on this year’s Taste of Olean, including vendor registration, call Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce at 716-372-4433 or email To learn more about Art In the Park, contact the Cattaraugus County Arts Council at 716-372-7455.The Cattaraugus County Arts Council is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the creation, presentation, and appreciation of the arts in the Southern Tier. Located in Allegany, NY, CCAC is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, Cattaraugus County, members and donors. For more information on CCAC or for information on art classes, visit

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