HAMBURG, NEW YORK – Following the weekend’s unprecedented lake effect storm, the opening of the beloved Western New York holiday tradition has been delayed one week.

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, the region’s largest annual holiday festival, will now open Friday, December 2nd at 5:00pm.

The remaining Festival of Lights dates are scheduled for December 9-11, 16-18 and an expanded nightly schedule December 19-23.  Admission must be purchased online, reserve your night at; there are a limited number of tickets available per night.  Patrons that already purchased admission for November 25, 26 or 27 will be refunded.  Please allow 7-10 business days for the refund to process.

The festival has expanded in 2022 with more holiday fun along 42nd Street in addition to the drive through of light displays, arches and tunnels.  Be sure to dress the family for the weather as there are outdoor areas of the festival.

New to the 2022 Festival are the walk around activities along 42nd Street including the North Pole Experience that has a winding path featuring a toy shop, elf village, a train display by the WNY Garden Railway Society and Santa’s House where Santa can be found every night of the festival. Also added is an Illuminated Pixel Show, a Disney inspired light show with pixel castles, pixel fireworks, pixelized buildings and more along the buildings on 42nd Street.  A brand new Santa’s Christmas Express Train Ride that will offer guests a free ride through different light displays sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets.  Santa’s Reindeer will be on site every night of the festival.  Families can make their way through ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ Interactive Maze based on the classic holiday story.   Holiday shopping opportunities are on site to find the perfect gift with vendors inside the Expo Hall and at the Outdoor European Market.  There are even indoor kiddie rides highlighted by the Holiday Carousel to enjoy at the Ag-Grange Building.  A variety of food and drink options will be offered at the event.

The holiday fun will begin with the drive through at the all-new entrance off of McKinley Parkway (the entrance closest to Clark Street).  The gates will be open from 5:00pm-9:00pm, with the buildings and grounds staying open until 10:00pm

Several special nights are planned for the event…

  • Official Tree Lighting with WIVB-TV– rescheduled for Friday, December 2nd at 6:00pm – join us on 42nd Street as we officially light up the 42’ tall Christmas tree with special guests from WIVB-TV that will culminate with a brief Skylighters Fireworks show.  A limited number of Evans Light Sticks will be handed out to help light up the night.
  • Armor Volunteer Fire Company Boot Drive – Saturday, December 3rd – Members from the Armor Volunteer Fire Company will be on site to collect donations.  Funds raised will go towards ensuring they’re always ready to answer the call.
  • Shine A Light on Hunger Food Drive to benefit FeedMore WNY – Friday December 9th, Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th   – Bring your non-perishable food items for FeedMore WNY.  The first 500 vehicles that donate each night will receive a free goodie bag compliments of Milk For Health, WNY Immediate Care and Tops Markets.

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS). For more information regarding the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights visit

Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce Supports Small Business through
Shop Local Expo.


Lackawanna, NY – The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting their Shop Local Expo on Saturday, November 26th 2022 from 10:30am-2:30pm at the Matthew Glab Post in Lackawanna. This event celebrates Small Business Saturday by providing a space for local businesses, artisans and vendors to showcase their goods and services as well as a space for community members to kick off the holiday shopping season.


Admission is FREE. This event will also feature BW’s Chicken BBQ available from 11:30am until 2:30pm or until sold out.


The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts a variety of vendor, artisan and business showcases throughout the year, supporting tourism and businesses in the territories that we serve.


As a business organization, the Chamber encourages everyone to shop locally this holiday season and throughout the year! Many deals, events and promotions can be found through our social media at @wnysouthtowns or Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.


For more information on this and other events, visit the Events Calendar on


A special thanks to our current Event Sponsor: The Hamburg SUN.



Orchard Park, NY – Horton Law has been named by U.S. News Best Lawyers® to its “Best Law Firms” 2023 list for Employment Law – Management. The Firm is listed in Tier 1 in the Buffalo, New York area. This is the firm’s 6th consecutive year being listed in “Best Law Firms” since Attorney Scott Horton founded Horton Law in 2017.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

Based in the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area, Horton Law PLLC advises management in labor, employment, and education law matters throughout New York State. The firm represents public and private employers across industries such as education, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, non-profit organizations, and professional services.

Hamburg, NY –   In a partnership with the Can Bottle Return Company of Hamburg, NY, there were over 40,000 units collected during the 12-day run of the Erie County Fair.  There were 140 receptacles for the recyclable items placed around the grounds.  The team collected items daily and separated the garbage from the redeemable beverage containers.

The final collection tally from the redeemable beverage containers was 40,579 units totaling $2,029.00 reported Peter Baker, General Manager of the Can Bottle Return Company (CBR).  Each year, CBR generously donates the proceeds to benefit the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.  “Because we at CBR highly value the partnership with the Erie County Fair, we have decided to round up the donation to $2,500.00.  Every year we get a little better and being a small business partner right down the street from an event as iconic as the Erie County Fair, we look forward to helping in any way to support their fundraising efforts, especially the prestigious Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.”

The Can Bottle Return Company, located in Hamburg, NY, is the preferred vendor for all container redemption materials at the Erie County Fair.  They have provided over $10,000 in donation funds for the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund during the 4-year partnership.  “Peter Baker and his team are quick to help and always follow through when called upon.  With one million patrons descending upon our gates throughout 12 days, CBR is on site daily collecting and sorting through over 150 recycling units.  We appreciate the efforts and of course the generous donation to the scholarship program,” said Jeff Horbowicz, Concessions Manager for the Erie County Fair.

Donations like this help the Erie County Agricultural Society to continue to award scholarships to eligible young men and women annually.  In 2022, a total of $40,000 in scholarship money was awarded to students from East Aurora, Holland, Pavilion, Eden, Boston, Springville and Lawtons in NY and one more was awarded to a student from Corry, PA.

About Can Bottle Return Company – Located in Hamburg, NY Can Bottle Return Company is Western New York’s largest, privately owned redemption center.   They have invested in state-of-the-art, high speed, accurate sorting and counting machines to provide a fast, clean and way to return NYS redeemable beverage containers.

About the Erie County Fair – The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization. Established in 1819, the Society is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. The mission of the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), sponsors of the Erie County Fair, is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Fair strives to fulfill appropriate aspects of the agricultural, educational, entertainment and recreational needs of Western New York. (


HAMBURG, NEW YORK – The annual Fairgrounds Festival of Lights will feature a drive through of light displays plus brand new shows and attractions along 42nd Street including a Disney inspired Illuminated Pixel Show, Santa’s Christmas Express Train Ride, a European Christmas Market and Frosty’s Dance Party.

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is located in Hamburg, NY and will be open for seventeen nights, with opening weekend November 25-27.  Additional weekends include December 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 and an expanded nightly schedule December 19-23.

Begin your holiday fun at our all new entrance to the Festival on McKinley Parkway (the entrance closest to Clark Street).  The gates will be open from 5:00pm-9:00pm, with the buildings and grounds staying open until 10:00pm.

“We are happy that we are able to continue this holiday tradition with more walk-through holiday fun along 42nd Street in addition to the drive through,” said Jessica Underberg, CEO, “its just one price for the entire carload, so be sure to fill the car with family and friends to enjoy the evening together!”

Admission to the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is $30 for the carload and will include a drive through of over 70 light displays, arches and tunnels, a visit with Santa, Twas The Night Before Christmas Interactive Maze, live reindeer, Santa’s Christmas Express Train Ride, Illuminated Pixel Show choreographed to music and more.  There will also be indoor kiddie rides, food and shopping vendors as well as an outdoor European market.  Admission will be available at starting November 1st for $30 each.  Guests will have to choose the night they want to visit.

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS). For more information regarding the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights visit

Hamburg, NY – The grand opening celebration of the new location for Graphic-Poetry, a boutique stationery shop and invitation design studio, at 38 Main Street in the Village of Hamburg, is scheduled for Friday, October 8th, from 5pm to 8pm, and Saturday, October 7th, from 10am to 5pm.

The celebration will start with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday evening at 5pm with the Southtowns Chamber of Commerce. Following the ribbon cutting, the public and other local businesses are invited to browse the store and enjoy a margarita bar and snacks from Coyote Café, a dessert table by B Sweet Designs and Cupcaked North, and cookies from Buffalo Girl that Bakes.

On Saturday, Graphic-Poetry will be open their regular fall hours from 10am to 5pm. From 10am to 12pm Remedy and Rituals will be showing demonstrations of their new self-love and skin care products. Sik Braids will be on site from 12pm to 4pm offering braiding and hair tinsel. This family friendly event will also have a coloring corner for children while parents can browse the larger storefront and new inventory. Food on Saturday is compliments of Coyote Café.

Women-owned businesses make up at least 80% of the brands in store, something that has been very important to owner, Liz Maute, as a solo-entrepreneur herself and mother of two young girls. All merchandise is sourced from a mix of national and local brands by independent artists and small businesses.

“Our new location is 4x larger than our old space,” says Liz. “With this larger footprint we’re able to now accommodate classes, events, and of course more diverse products. Having events and other vendors on site is one thing I have always wanted to offer, but never had the space to do so comfortably.”

A separate office for Liz to meet one-on-one with her wedding invitation and graphic design clients, a product assembly and shipping area, and a storage room are all perks that came along with the new location. A small coloring area for children to test out some of the fun drawing and art products Maute sells in the shop is also something she’s excited about.

“I’m super happy we now have a space for my kids and others to play while they are here,” says Maute. “Encouraging creativity is very important to us.”

Graphic-Poetry makes the world a little more beautiful through thoughtful, handcrafted stationery. They provide paper products to help people celebrate, communicate, and connect through life’s important moments with designs that are eclectic, witty (and sometimes a little cheeky), made with old and new printing methods.

CONTACT INFO: Elizabeth (Liz) Maute, 716-812-4866, [email protected]

38 Main Street, Hamburg, NY 14075

Today at a noon-time press conference, city of Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo and Douglas Jemal, President and Founder of Douglas Development, jointly announced that Douglas has been named as Lackawanna’s designated developer for a $35 million mixed-use project planned for 539 Ridge Road in the city’s Second Ward, which will feature 160 market rate apartments averaging 850 sq. feet, 10,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space and 30,000 sq. ft of underground parking.
Lackawanna issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the 539 Ridge Road site on January, 21, 2022 with a proposal submission deadline of March 15th of this year. Douglas was chosen for the project based on the quality of their RFP response.
The Lackawanna City Council approved the land sale and transfer to Douglas for $1 by a 5-0 vote at their Tuesday, September 20, 2022 business meeting. The $1 land sale price was recommended by Mayor Iafallo given Douglas’s stated intent to develop the 539 Ridge Road project without tax abatement incentives and pay full city taxes upon project completion.
‘We’re honored to partner with the elite development team at Douglas Development as we continue to move forward with my administration’s efforts to revitalize Lackawanna from both an economic and community development perspective,” said Mayor Annette Iafallo. “Doug Jemal and his team have been making a transformational impact in the city of Buffalo over many years through successful completion of several multi-million projects. Given our proximity and similarity to Buffalo, my team has worked hard to bring the Douglas team to Lackawanna and today, I’m proud to say we’ve succeeded. This is another great milestone in restoring Lackawanna to prominence”
The 1.25-acre 539 Ridge Road parcel in Lackawanna’s Second Ward was the location of the former St. Barbara’s R.C. Church, which stood from 1930 until it was closed/consolidated by the Diocese of Buffalo in 2008 and subsequently demolished in 2011. The diocese then sold the land to the City of Lackawanna in November of 2014, and it has sat vacant ever since
“My team and I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside with the wonderful city of Lackawanna. We think that Douglas Development can help play a role in catapulting Lackawanna back to what it once was,” said Douglas Jemal, President and Founder of Douglas Development. “With such rich history, simply minutes from downtown Buffalo, and a tangible eagerness within the community to get the ball moving, we felt like this was a perfect location for our next dynamic project.”
The proposed $35 million mixed-use project by Douglas Development will mark the first of its kind in Lackawanna’s in over a generation and serve as the anchor for the Iafallo administration’s multi-million revitalization plan for the Ridge Road – Center Street corridor, which will include:
– A complete curb-to-curb reconstruction of Center Street in partnership with the Erie County Water and Sewer Authorities – which will be going for bids in the coming days,
– Construction of a grant-funded splash park/inclusive recreation park at nearby Franklin Playground, which is expected to open next summer,
– And construction of three affordable single family residential homes by Habitat for Humanity Buffalo in partnership with the Lackawanna Housing Development Corporation with funding from the city’s community development block grant dollars administered through Erie County.
Lackawanna’s project partnership with Douglas Development continues the city’s success at attracting new development projects since Mayor Iafallo took office in 2020 and unified/lowered the city of Lackawanna’s tax rate as part of an overall strategy for rebuilding the city’s economy, which had eroded since the former Bethlehem Steel Corporation closed its local steelmaking operation in the early 1980’s.
Since 2020, over $100 million in new tax revenue generating development has been initiated or completed in Lackawanna, including:
– Advanced manufacturing /warehouse projects by TMP Technologies/Magic Eraser, Sucro Sourcing, LLC, Uniland Development and Ciminelli Development within and adjacent to the new Renaissance Commerce Park emerging within the former steel plant site which is led by Erie County government in partnership with the City of Lackawanna,
– And manufacturing / warehouse projects for Flexlume Sign Company and Premium Coffee/Queen City Foods on city-owned parcels just east of the commerce park off NYS Route 5.
The next step in the process is for Douglas Development to present their project plans for 539 Ridge Road to the Lackawanna Zoning and Planning Boards before year end 2022. The project is expected to take up to 24 months to complete.
Site renderings are posted below. The press event can be viewed on YouTube

Buffalo, NY – Special Olympics NY will once again be taking on the chilly waters of Lake Erie to raise funds and awareness for the local Athletes of Special Olympics New York. The two day Buffalo Polar Plunge, presented by Towne Automotive Group is designed to bring thousands together for one reason: inclusion.

Friday, December 2nd offers the chance for high school students to be part of the action in the Cool School Plunge, initially created solely with the Unified schools in mind.  Participating students will have the chance at $3,500 in scholarship money thanks to First Student. Saturday, December 3rd will be the traditional Buffalo Polar Plunge available to anyone.

This year marks the 16th Annual Buffalo Polar Plunge and we are challenging schools, clubs, organizations and companies to participate.  In 2021, 800 participants raised $290,000. Individuals and teams who’d like to join this year’s Plunge may do so by registering online at For more information, please contact Erica Raepple at [email protected] or 716-909-6444.

“Polar Plunges are some of the most valuable fundraisers we host each year,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “They’re an excellent opportunity for people from all over the community to come together and support our athletes. If you join us, you’ll see why so many people return year after year.”   Participants raise money by asking friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances for donations. Schools can participate in unique fundraisers such as “Toss Your Teacher” and “Dump the Couch”. Register your school at


When: Friday, December 2nd-Cool School Plunge for High Schools

Registration is 2:00pm-3:30pm, Plunge at 4:00pm

Saturday, December 3rd-Buffalo Polar Plunge

Registration is 11:00am-1:00pm, Plunge at 2:00pm

Where: Woodlawn Beach State Park:  3580 Lake Shore Road Buffalo, NY 14219

People Inc., Western New York’s largest and most experienced health and human services agency, is now hiring and training full- and part-time employees. Open Interview Events will be held on Tuesday, September 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 17 Park Place, Silver Creek and on Thursday, September 29 at People Inc. Orchard Senior Living Apartments, 276 Waverly Street, Springville. When someone lives with an intellectual and developmental disability, they may need help with everyday tasks. People Inc. is actively recruiting for people seeking life-changing careers to work as a direct support professional, behavior technician and team leader. Overnight and weekend shift incentives are offered for some positions. For the Springville residential positions only, new hires will earn a sign-on bonus of $1,000 for full time and $500 for part time, for a limited time.

Attendees will have the chance to learn about People Inc. and interview on-the-spot with a recruiter. No appointments needed. Applicants are encouraged to pre-apply, however walk-ins are welcome.

As an essential employer with a team of nearly 4,000 staff members, People Inc. is hiring compassionate, creative and energetic candidates for positions across the career spectrum, from entry level to management. These positions are beneficial for college students to gain hands-on experience, with many remaining with the agency upon graduation and for those seeking to re-enter the workforce. People with experience in retail, restaurants, customer service and education often become an outstanding part of the agency’s team.

The agency offers a number of competitive employee benefits, including comprehensive paid training, tuition reimbursement and 401(k) plan with employer match, along with generous paid time off, health insurance options and career mentoring/development.

Descriptions for specific jobs are listed on the agency’s website at Those who cannot attend, but are interested in applying may do so online at For more information, call 716-322-7050.

People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted people to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.

Hamburg, NY – On Monday, August 29, the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce learned of a misappropriation of funds within the organization.  Immediately an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors was called during which it was voted unanimously to terminate the Chamber’s Executive Director and name Jamie Decker as our Interim Executive Director.  We are working with our bank, forensic accounting consultants, and law enforcement to address this as expeditiously as possible.  Our mission remains supporting our members and the communities we serve. The service and commitment that the Chamber has provided to our members in the past will not be affected.

Our collective trust has been broken and we do not take that lightly.  We are taking steps to ensure safeguards are in place so this type of violation of our trust does not happen again.  We are thankful for the support of our dedicated employees, members, and Board of Directors.

We understand there will be questions and we will do our best to maintain transparency as an organization. As this is an ongoing investigation, we will be unable to comment further at this time.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding during this unexpected and upsetting discovery.