Niagara Gazette — Though it’s only April and the flowers haven’t even popped through the ground yet, it’s never too early to think about the many summer festivals Lewiston hosts.
This year’s bunch gets started earlier than normal, as one of the fastest growing offerings decided to accelerate its timeline.
Pubfest, the charity function spearheaded by Lewiston Village Pub co-owner Ken Scibetta, is abandoning its middle-June weekend in favor of the post-Memorial Day fun of Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2.
“Father’s Day weekend has always been an issue for our volunteers, for the bands and for getting people to come out on that Sunday,” Scibetta said. “We wanted to take a weekend where nothing was going on. And this is the weekend after Memorial Day, so people are going to be looking for something to do.”
The date for Pubfest isn’t the only thing changing about this year’s offering. Through the first three years of the festival, the atmosphere has expanded from a single day of music and drinking to an entire weekend devoted to family-friendly entertainment. Scibetta added amusement rides last year, along with games and other frills in an effort to make the most money possible for Variety Kids Telethon, his charity of choice, and Lewiston’s first responders.
But those bangs have quickly fizzled and Pubfest is returning to its roots, with a massive stage, all the beer adults ages 21 and older can drink and three nights of music headlined by two popular national acts, The Trews and U.S.S. – short for Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker.
Scibetta said Pubfest is heading more toward the adult entertainment its name suggests.
“Our beer tent and our bands are always the way we raised money,” he said. “So this year, we wanted to keep it simple and go back to our roots. We’re going to do the things that have made us the most money, but we’re going to do them bigger than ever. We’re going big.”