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Fringe Festival Continues To Grow

(photos by WXXI photographer Fred SanFilipo)

The First Niagara Festival wraps up Saturday and founding producer Erica Fee is hoping for record setting attendance for the 10-day event.

She says last year, they had more than 63,000,  and she expects to top that this year.

Fee says one trend they’ve been seeing is the festival, which features an eclectic mix of performances, is attracting people from outside the region.

“I do think that like anything we see that as we progress, as we mature, like so many other festivals, attendees start getting the notion to come to Rochester from outside the Rochester area; so at first it’s very much a home-grown festival, and then we’re hoping for it to become much more regional."

Fee says the festival has grown over its five year span, partly due to the wide variety of music, dance, art and other performances.

“By their very definitions fringe festivals range from the amateur to the superstar and sometimes the people that you may think are amateurs are going to be the next big thing, so fringe festivals do offer something very exciting, I feel, for audiences hungry for something new.”

This year there were more than 500 performances almost three times the number that were held in the festival's first year in 2012.  You can get more information about Saturday's performances at:

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.