By Griffin Jones
WingFest, held last weekend, has done a great job of championing Buffalo’s old brand, now it’s time to grow capital events that activate Buffalo’s new, more valuable, marketing attributes.
City of Night is the cardinal event for Buffalo’s artistic value. It perfectly showcases the unique artistic opportunity and culture of art creation in Buffalo. Now, there are two upcoming events that Buffalo should look to grow into the flagship event for its first marketing position: environmental stewardship.
Tour de Farms is an outstanding day-long event that incorporates two of Buffalo’s signature advantages, the cycling movement and urban farming. The 300+ person bicycle tour of both urban and suburban farms is on Saturday, September 14, 2013. By bringing together the Massachusetts Avenue Project, GOBike Buffalo, and a few corporate sponsors, Tour de Farms has reinforced sustainability as part of Buffalo’s brand.
The Conference on the Environment will be held in Buffalo next month (Oct 3-5, 2013). Peter Rizzo, the conference coordinator, said the last event held in Buffalo (2003), was one of the best attended conferences ever held. People from Canada, South Africa, and Australia will be in Buffalo for the bi-national summit focused on environmental protection, sustainability, transportation, and the quality and the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.
Both the conference and the Tour de Farms equip Buffalo to work toward a signature event that embraces her position as an agent of environmental protection. They’re both doing it the right way. The Tour makes a party of a bicycle ride with locally grown food and locally brewed beer. The conference is starting with a rock star. Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, is the keynote speaker on the first night of the conference.
This is the way to think of the culture of environmental sustainability. The same way that ethnic and music festivals make a holiday of their cultures, Buffalo has that opportunity with environmental citizenship.