Allegany community continues to play part in Bonagany

By Natalie Kucko, @nkucko

The 9th annual Bonagany Festival took place this past Saturday on Main Street in Allegany, N.Y. as part of Parents Weekend. The festival, drawing community members as well as the families of St. Bonaventure University students, has served as a fun, entertaining way for families to get out and explore the town of Allegany and all that it has to offer.

The festival had a variety of entertainment to display for the community. Local businesses sold several items from hand-made jewelry, to framed photographs of the area, and even hand-painted wine glasses with Bonaventure-themed designs. Several vendors were located along the street selling all kinds of food and sweet lemonade. A massive inflatable slide and mechanical bull machine attracted the kids, while live music played and dancers performed in the street for all to enjoy.

Studio 4 East, a popular t-shirt shop on Main Street, has its most profitable day of business during the Bonagany festival each year. Peter Wintermantel founded the company with his two brothers in 1979 and it has been thriving ever since. The brothers began their business across from The Burton in their home’s garage.

Eventually, they moved to the location that the store is presently at now. Wintermantel said that he saw a need for screen printing and decided to develop a business from it. The store sells dozens of different t-shirts and sweatshirts representing the university as well as those for other organizations.

Anne Conroy-Baiter, a watercolor artist, sold paintings in all sizes of Bonaventure’s campus. Conroy-Baiter’s parents both worked at the university for 35 years; her mother worked in Friedsam Memorial Library and her father taught Spanish.

Anne’s mother was a painter and when she passed away, she insisted that Anne carried on the tradition using her own talent. Conroy-Baiter’s beautiful paintings highlight the library, mostly in honor of her mother.

Bonagany is a great event for the Allegany community to experience as well as Bonaventure families. The festival offers a taste of the community through entertainment, activities and fun. The event has been a success for almost a decade and it can be for years to come.