Call for Participation for Orleans County Second Annual Heritage Festival

Priceless Historic Places, Organizations and Assets in the Spotlight Sept. 8-17, 2017

Medina, NY- With a fresh focus on new themes, the Second Annual Orleans County Heritage Festival will once again celebrate some of the region’s invaluable historic places, organizations and assets beginning Friday, September 8, 2017, and ending Sunday, September 17, 2017. Last year’s county-wide celebration of historically and culturally significant locations was a complete success and involved 29 sites including special programming at GCC’s Albion and Medina campus centers.

“We were very pleased with the results of the first heritage festival. Over 500 visitors collected ribbons and a commemorative button as they deepened their appreciation of our region’s historic cemeteries, farms, homes and other gems like the Erie Canal,” Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history and a festival organizer said. “This year we hope to increase awareness of Orleans County heritage by introducing intriguing new historical themes.”

The new themes for this year include the following:

  • Erie Canal - locations associated with the historic Erie Canal to celebrate the bicentennial of this extraordinary 19th century transportation system;
  • Military - locations associated with the military history of Orleans County ranging from the French and Indian Wars through 20th Century Wars with special emphasis on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. oentry into World War I;
  • Cobblestone & Sandstone - locations associated with the substantial use of cobblestone and/or sandstone in the historic architecture;
  • Legends and Lore, Spirits and Supernatural - locations associated with a history of spirits, supernatural and/or ghost activities. 

Lynne Menz, the Orleans County Tourism Marketing Manager, is excited about what the expansion of time will mean for visitors. “In addition to being very pleased with the events and programs held in each location last year, almost all visitors wished they could have made it to more locations during the 3-day weekend,” Menz said. “This new 10-day format will allow people to experience a much wider range of events without having to force people to choose between events held at the same time but in different locations.”

Another first for this year is that the heritage festival is being organized by a board of directors.  “We had great cooperation from many community volunteers as well as GCC faculty, staff and students for the first heritage festival,” Jim Simon, GCC associate dean said. “But we realized that a more organized leadership structure would allow for the festival to provide even more to the community.” 

The Board of Directors includes Derek Maxfield, Lynne Menz, Tracy Ford, Matt Ballard, Erin Anheier, Al Capurso, Cindy Robinson and Jim Simon.

CALL for Application: Any locations or presenters interested in participating in the Second Annual Orleans County Heritage Festival should submit an application to Jim Simon, GCC Medina Campus Center, 11470 Maple Ridge Rd, Medina, NY 14103. Application forms can be found at the Heritage Festival website at www.orleansnyheritage.comApplications are due by March 20, 2017.

For more information please contact Jim Simon, associate dean of GCC’s Orleans County Campus Centers at (585)798-1688, ext. 4191, or Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or


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Editor’s Note:

For photographs from last year’s Orleans County Heritage Festival please go to: war reenactor.jpg

Many other images are available by contacting the Marketing Communications Office of Genesee Community College: