June 1975 is when the Lockport Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival first started, through the efforts of Roy Gill and the Lockport Evening Optimist Club.
Dick Forsey and Ed Sandusky, lifelong friends and both members of the Lockport Evening Optimist club for more than 58 years, have organized and run each and every festival since then, on the last weekend of June.
They have had many, many people help, but the one constant, or should we say two constants, of the show are Dick and Ed. They have not missed one show up until this year, which would have been their 45th craft show.
The festival has had anywhere from 250 vendors to 174 last year. Over the years it has had a hot air balloon launch from Main Street, a Model T giveaway, judging of many different forms of art, and raffles for novelty items including chain saw carvings, little red wagons and meals at local restaurants.
The Lockport Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival can expect 20,000 visitors a year. The show has gone on even when the weather did not cooperate. Dick and Ed have had their share of rain, hail, snow, sun, and a lot of wind.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 put an end to the run but Dick and Ed plan on being back next year.
All of the money raised through the festival — about $270,000 to date — supports youth activities in the Lockport area.
Forty-five years is a very long time and we — Dick and Ed's children, along with 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren — wanted to say a special thank you to both of them. Thank you for always giving back to the community and working those long hours and showing us what it is like to give back. Lockport is very lucky to have both of you.
LYNN and KEVEN FORSEYKAREN and MIKE SCHINEJESSICA and BILL HENSHAWDONNA and KEVIN CZAJATINA and STEVE LAMARCOWANDA and TIM HANLEYAURORA SANDUSKYGrandson MATT SANDUSKY