Where Buffalonians Come to Celebrate HomeT
In 1907, Buffalo was the eighth largest city in the nation. More millionaires per capita lived here, at the geographic and political center of the country, than anywhere else in the U.S. The Pan American Exposition shone a brilliant spotlight on the City of Light—and then President McKinley was assassinated. A pall was cast on Buffalo, and a monument to the slain President was elected.
An event to bring back those who had drifted away during those few dark years and to inaugurate the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square was conceived. Buffalo Old Home Week took place on September 1 through 7, 1907, and by all accounts, was a great success. Buffalo’s heyday continued unabated.
Fast forward to 2006. Ninety-nine years later, the desire to build community was greater than ever, and a small band of Buffalo enthusiasts revived Buffalo Old Home Week on August 24 through 27, 2006. Clearly the time was right to boost Buffalo in significant and meaningful ways.
The size of the event double each year and it progressed from a single annual event to a year-round endeavor with multiple events, a constituency and a great deal of momentum. Within a few years, Buffalo Old Home Week was renamed Buffalo Citybration, developed under Buffalo by Choice, an organization dedicated to the people who are in Buffalo because they love it.
Buffalo Citybration was a four-day event showcasing Buffalo’s assets, highlighting opportunity, and celebrating the city’s many successes to help keep our best and brightest here, to bring back those who have left, and to attract entrepreneurs and professionals to help grow our community and our economy.
Buffalo Citybration partnered with the business community, arts and cultural organizations, schools, sports teams, civic and grassroots organizations, government and development agencies, veterans groups and more. It addressed the retention and attraction problems that have led to ongoing population losses in true Buffalo form—by throwing a party!
The event was discontinued, but the ideals of Buffalo Citybration continue to thrive under Buffalo Heritage Press.
Since Buffalo Citybration’s inception, it’s been about celebrating the rich history, diversity, and culture of the City of Good Neighbors. Buffalo Heritage Press, one of the region’s most-recognized publishers, shares that mission. After the dissolution of the event, Buffalo Heritage Press gave Buffalo Citybration a home because the two had a founder in common—Marti Gorman.
Gorman, co-founder and publisher of Buffalo Heritage Press, is known as the “bring ‘em all back lady” and a vibrant proponent of the City of Buffalo. The resurgence of Buffalo Old Home Week—leading to the creation of Citybration—wouldn’t be possible without her.
Now Buffalo Citybration is an idea—a goal to strive for every day by Buffalonians everywhere: Celebrate Home. In every way, Citybration is about celebrating the Queen City and all of the wonderful things about it. From the food to the art, from the theater district to the waterfront—and everything in between—Citybration and Buffalo Heritage Press want every Buffalonian—near and far—to be a Buffalo Ambassador.