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Bust out the SPF-50, hit up the ATM and get yourself to Delaware Avenue. The 57th annual Allentown Art Festival kicks off Saturday morning with hundreds of artists and artisans selling paintings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry, kitchen tools, tchotchkes, knick-knacks, lawn ornaments and just about every kind of creative, hand-made object you might be able to imagine.

Since its beginnings as a humble neighborhood festival in 1957, the event, organized by the Allentown Village Society, has become an annual rite of spring for Western New Yorkers. It marks the official beginning of Buffalo’s dizzying festival season and serves more or less as a celebration of high art than of the newly discovered ability to walk around in shorts and flip-flops and to consume massive amounts of fried dough. (Indeed, the prize-winning work from the show is sealed up in a room the public is not even allowed to enter.)

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Allen West Festival, sponsored by the Allentown Association, runs concurrently. Call the Allentown Village Society for more information at 881-4269 or visit www.allentownartfestival.com.

Colin Dabkowski