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BPO, Fashion Outlets launch Artpark shuttle

To avoid Artpark's narrow access roads and crowded parking lots during the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Summerfest 2007 concert series, consider taking the bus.

The orchestra and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls announced Thursday they will offer round-trip shuttle service between the outlet mall and the Lewiston arts center on 12 performance dates in July and August, including BPO concerts and Artpark's production of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical "Aida." The BPO performs on weekends from July 7 through 29.

A 32-passenger air-conditioned bus will leave the mall's Military Road entrance near John's Flaming Hearth restaurant at 7:15 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performances on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2:15 p.m. for 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. The exceptions will be 1:15 p.m. departures for the 2 p.m. Aug. 12 and 19 Sunday performances of"Aida."

Each round trip ticket will be $7. Packages including the bus ride, performance ticket and pre-show or post-show dinner will be available for $59.

The shuttle will eliminate parking and traffic concerns and drop patrons at the theater entrance, said Dan Hart, BPO executive director. A similar Symphony Shuttle between Salvatore's Italian Gardens restaurant in Lancaster and Kleinhans Music Hall during the concert season has proved popular with BPO patrons, Hart added.

In addition, John's Flaming Hearth will offer a three-course "Summerfest Dinner" for $18, including tax and and gratuity. Patrons may eat either before or after performances.

Reservations for the shuttle, dinner or the package must be made when show tickets are ordered. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Philharmonic at (800) 318-9430 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or visiting the Fashion Outlets customer service center during mall hours.

e-mail: tbuckham@buffnews.com

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