As the celebrations marking the 125th anniversary year of Buffalo’s historic Broadway Market come to a close, I take stock of my first recollections of the market and reminisce about the long walk to get there with my family – a mile each way – as together we endeavored to solve the world’s troubles en route.
My father worked a half day every Saturday at Wonder Bread, and when we got to the market, he would buy us all a decorated seasonal sugar cookie. Some were shaped as rabbits, some as lambs, some as turkeys, some as Santa. We spent the entire afternoon there, often culminating at a local restaurant. Those memorable family moments make being president of the Friends of the Broadway Market District such an honor.
Each year during the Easter season, which begins today, 250,000 people come to the Broadway Market, a living landmark, to recapture memories and carry on family traditions that started there. We know spring is only two weeks away, and Easter, with all of its joyful festivities, will soon be upon us.
But for me and for many others, the Broadway Market is not just a one-shot holiday shopping venue. We believe the market upholds traditions for Western New York’s immigrants – Polish, German, African-American and more, who shop at the market all year-round.
To celebrate its 125th anniversary year, the Broadway Market held outstanding new events every week. We will continue with this new energy with a second round of Saturday Lecture Series, two train shows with our partner, the Niagara Hobby and Craft Store, and a gala gathering to showcase market wares. This summer, we will spice things up with our new healthy choice demonstration kitchen. And Santa will definitely be returning in December, along with a roster of other new winter events.
The Broadway Market is a part of my family heritage. I believe all people have the opportunity to come to the market and create their own family traditions right here at 999 Broadway.
The market is also a place where visitors can experience a little bit of the past by reliving fond moments. Now that I have a granddaughter, I believe tradition and culture are more important than ever for my family and me.
Presenting new and weekly events brings regular patrons back to the Broadway Market and encourages new customers to visit. Once here, they realize the market is not a dinosaur in the community, but a space and place of collective memory, and a place where new traditions and dreams can be made.
We have welcomed Potts Deli and Niagara Popcorn, the newest vendors who have joined our Broadway Market family. And “The Kielbasa Diaries: The Butter Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” a one-act play created especially for the market with support from Road Less Traveled Productions, is a prime example of the new energy and creativity that can help transform the market into a hub that expresses our rich diversity, long history and future opportunities.
I hope that someday my granddaughter will be planning for the 200th anniversary of the Broadway Market. I invite everyone to stay tuned to learn about upcoming events. We plan for the Broadway Market to stay alive and thrive.