Riverwalk Fest Canceled Due To Bridge Projects

It has been confirmed that there will not be a Great Jamestown Riverwalk Festival this summer in downtown Jamestown.

Michael Dykeman, Jamestown Now committee member, said Thursday to The Post-Journal the festival will be skipped this year because of the bridge projects being done where a large section of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk is located.

This summer, the Chautauqua County Public Facilities Department started to rehabilitate the South Main Street Bridge and two pedestrian bridges are being installed along the Riverwalk. One of the pedestrian bridges will connect the north shore of the Riverwalk with Panzarella Park. The second bridge will be below the Washington Street Bridge and connect both sections of the Riverwalk running along the Chadakoin River.

Dykeman said last year the Great Jamestown Riverwalk Festival was only on the east side of the Main Street Bridge. During the first year of the Great Jamestown Riverwalk Festival, the west side of the Main Street Bridge was the main location for the event.

“We really need to get on the (west side),” Dykeman said. “We did the (Jamestown Area Medical Associates) side last year and there really wasn’t enough room. The other side is so beautiful, but with the (installation) of the two pedestrian bridges and the South Main Street Bridge, I have a feeling we will have to postpone (the Great Jamestown Riverwalk Festival this year). We will not forget about it. We will pick it up next year.”

Dykeman said next summer with the new pedestrian bridges installed and the National Comedy Center slated to be opened, the festival will be even better than the first two years.

“Next year the festival will be great with the comedy center being opened and having the two pedestrian bridges in so people can have access to both sides of the river,” he said.

Jamestown Now has organized the first two festivals, which were held to promote environmental awareness. Jamestown Now also organizes the Great Jamestown Chalk Walk. Chalk Walk is an opportunity for dozens of artist to produce chalk-based artworks to be featured on the streets of downtown Jamestown. Dykeman said the sixth annual Chalk Walk will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, in correlation with the 14th Annual Local Music Showcase organized by Infinity Visual & Performing Arts. He said each year the plan was to hold both events on the same day, but because of rain, the Chalk Walk has been postponed. The rain date for this year’s Chalk Walk will be Sunday, Sept. 10.

“We try to coordinate the two events, but it never works out because of rain so we do it the next day. Maybe this year will be the magic year and we will be able to have both the daytime event with Chalk Walk and night time event with the Local Music Showcase. Chalk Walk brings in a lot of people and so does the Local Music Showcase. It would be nice for people to be in the downtown for 12 hours if both events can be held on the same day,” he said.