To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War period, Genesee Community College’s Dr. Derek Maxfield organized the GCC Civil War Initiative. You can find more information on this program at their website https://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com/

This program ended in 2015, but Dr. Maxfield and others wanted to continue the focus on history (especially our local history) and the concept of the Orleans County Heritage Festival was developed.  The first of those events was held on September 9-11, 2016 with four themes celebrated: Agriculture, Transportation, Cemeteries and Historic Gems.

The 2nd annual Heritage Festival was extended to include 2 weekends with lectures and workshops during the week, starting Friday, Sept. 8 with a kick-off party and ending Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. That year’s themes revolved around two anniversaries: Military,  commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States involvement of World War I; Erie Canal, celebrating the bicentennial of the creation of the Erie Canal; Legends & Lores, Spirits & Supernaturals, associated with a history of spirit, supernatural and/or ghost activities and Cobblestone & Sandstone, our location in association with the substantial use of cobblestone and/or sandstone in the historic architecture.

The 3rd annual Heritage Festival, a ten day event, Sept. 7-16, 2018 included themes: Erie Canal, Historic Women, Barns & Barn Quilts and Nature and Wildlife. View the  schedule of events for 2018 here.

The 4th annual Heritage Festival will continue to be a ten day event, Sept. 6-15, 2019.  View the evolving schedule here.

The Heritage Festival is made possible by faculty and students from Genesee Community College, Orleans County Tourism, Clarendon Historical Society, Cobblestone Museum, and several more organizations and volunteers. See our 2018 Contributors page for a list of sponsors from last year.