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AutumnFest returns to Sprague Brook Park

More than 40 artists and crafters will return to Sprague Brook Park in Concord on Saturday and Sunday as Erie County hosts AutumnFest for the first time in six years. 

The festival -- to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- will also feature hayrides, pumpkins and fall decorations.

The festival was previously cut because of budget constraints. 

Parks Commissioner Jim Hornung said the cost of bringing the festival back will be made up by vendor fees.

"We have labor costs, but the labor that we're using is spread across from all the other parks," Hornung said. "We're moving staff from one park to the other to make this happen."

Erie County Executive Chris Collins announced the festival at a news conference this morning outside of Old County Hall, where he fielded questions from reporters about his decision to cut funding to some cultural organizations in his proposed budget to be released Friday. 

Parks, he said, are county assets in which he will continue to invest. 

"It comes down to running the county like a business and allocating the dollars that we have appropriately," Collins said about reinstating the AutumnFest. "And I've always been committed, and we budgeted last year, and we'll be budgeting in the future, to continue to provide quality of life to our residents at the beaches and the parks and various programs associated with that." 

--Denise Jewell Gee

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