UB to "Recreate" Atmosphere of Pan-Am Midway with Gala Fest of Music, Food, Llamas, Plays, Dead Presidents

Release Date: September 7, 2001 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The planners call themselves "Panamaniacs," a name that expresses their obsession with Buffalo's 1901 Pan-American Exposition and with its centennial celebration.

The Panamaniacs at the University at Buffalo have put together an eponymous two-day on-campus festival Sept. 22-23 in which visitors can experience the thrill of the original Pan-Am midway through films, music, foods, games and memorabilia.

The program of weekend events will be printed in the format of a Midway Day Program of the original Pan-Am. It will be the fifth in a series of special commemorative souvenir programs produced at UB to celebrate the centennial.

Panamania will take place in and around the Center for the Arts on UB's North Campus. On both days the event will feature:

o Displays and information/exhibit tables by historical organizations and community groups

o Peruvian llama games, Argentine "ostrich" races, and birds of prey that will stare visitors down until they give up.

o "Tangible Memories," the UB Gallery exhibition by the Pan-American Exposition Collector's society.

o Foods of the Americas, as well as midway-type fare will be for sale, including a special UB Pan-Am cookie -- "UB da Cookie," named for the popular 1901 Uneeda Biscuit.

o Assorted corporate mascots will be on hand to greet the crowd and sign autographs

o A 10-minute video loop of film taken at the 1901 Pan-Am will be on view.

o Ongoing chalk-on-sidewalk artwork created by UB art students on the plaza outside the Center for the Arts.

o "The Bazaar," an area similar to that at the original expo in which numerous vendors will sell Pan-Am related items.

o A 16x24-foot model of the original Pan-Am produced by students from Tonawanda's Riverview Elementary School who will make presentations

o "The Spirit of Niagara," a Pan-Am collage project by students of the Olmsted School based on the original 1901 "Spirit of Niagara" poster produced to promote the exposition.

o Bicycling demonstrations by the Pedaling History Museum

o Costumed characters will join the crowd. They will include Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, female members of a Civil War reenactment group, and famed Buffalo resident and Pan-Am dignitary Col. John B. Weber (William Tojek) of the 44th Reg't. NY Voluntary Infantry. Weber, the youngest colonel in the Civil War, was commissioned to lead the 89th United States Colored Troops prior to his 21st birthday. He was the first U.S. commissioner of immigration, founder of Ellis Island, commissioner general of the Pan-Am Expo and founding father of the city of Lackawanna.

o Beat inflation with the "penny enlongating machine" -- just like those at the original Pan-Am. Insert pennies and have them stretched and impressed with various popular turn-of-the-last-century images.

o One of the most popular items at the original Pan-Am was the life-saving demonstrations presented by the U.S. Coast Guard on Delaware Park Lake. The boys in dark, dark blue will be back for Panamania to meet with the public and demonstrate life-saving techniques at Lake LaSalle, behind the Center for the Arts.

oChow-down on popcorn popped in a circa 1901 popcorn machine.

In addition to the above features, special programs will be presented on Saturday and Sunday. See schedule below.

Saturday, September 22

10 a.m. to Noon. "Pan-Am Antiques Roadshow" and Memorabilia Sale

Fred Lavin, Christine Siwirski and other members of the Pan Am Collectors Association will lecture on Pan-Am collecting in general, Pan-Am spoons and Pan-Am medals and tokens. Members of the association also will assess Pan-Am memorabilia brought in by visitors. In the Center for the Arts atrium and University Gallery.

Every half-hour beginning at 10:30 a.m. Pan-Am CyberFair

On the half-hour, students from the UB Department of Media Study will demonstrate their "Pan-Am CyberFair," inspired by historical photographs and images from the Expo.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PA JAM II

An afternoon of crafts, music, videos, slides and games, circa 1901, presented by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Children's Department. It's a great way for children to experience what the kids of 1901 did at the original Expo.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entertainment by Gonzo the Balloon Man

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hawk Creek Birds of Prey

Many exotic wild animals were on display at the original Pan-Am. For Panamania, representatives of Hawk Creek will be on hand to educate and introduce endangered animals to the public. The East Aurora center is a nonprofit, all-volunteer effort designed to preserve wildlife and its ecosystem. The majority of the animals treated are birds of prey such as hawks, owls and falcons.

11:30 a.m. to Noon. Solar Boat Demonstrations

The award-winning solar boat designed and built by UB mechanical engineering students will be demonstrated on Lake LaSalle, behind the Center for the Arts

Noon to 12:30 p.m. Thunder of the East

UB's marching band, "Thunder of the East," arrives at the CFA to plays tunes from the 1901 era.

Noon to 5 p.m. Free samples of foods of the Pan-Am

Chef Ken Kerber will give food lectures and prepare "Foods of the Pan-Am" -- items served in the dozens of restaurants and food stands that operated at the 1901 exposition.

12:30-4:30 p.m. Leaping Llamas!

To mark the "pan-Americanism" of the original expo and its exotic animal exhibits, UB Geology Professor Michael Sheridan's Hemstreet Farms and the 4-H Club will present a select group of South American llamas. There also will be "hands-on" interactions, llama games -- including "leaping llamas" -- a llama race, Andean wool spinning demonstrations and music.

12:30 p.m. President William McKinley returns to the Pan-Am

Why would he want to? Ask him yourself. The president, who was assassinated at the original exposition, returns to speak with visitors. He will be escorted by two Pan-Am police officers, courtesy of the Pedaling History Museum, and, with visitors, will be escorted at 1 p.m. to the Center for the Arts Screening Room (Room 112) to watch the trial of his assassin broadcast from the original trial courtroom in Erie County Hall.

1-5 p.m. Reenactment of the Trial of Leon Czolgosz

Verizon Corp., in collaboration with the Erie County Bar Association, will present the Reenactment of the Trial of Leon Czolgosz, McKinley's assassin. The live trial will take place in Erie County Hall, where the original trial took place. UB is a distance-viewing site.

1-3 p.m. PA JAM II (See 11 a.m. listing)

1:30 p.m. More Bicycle Demos

Bicycle demonstrations in the CFA circle by the Pedaling History Museum, whose members will be on hand until 5 p.m. to meet with visitors.

2 p.m. SURPRISE birthday cake for Chef Ken Kerber who is 70 years old today. DON'T TELL HIM!

2:15 p.m. "Ostrich" Races

One of the popular attractions at the Pan-Am was the ostrich farm. The ostriches in this case will be children dressed in ostrich costumes provided by the Buffalo Bisons. Two children will be selected to participate and ostrich-lover Buster Bison will be on hand to award the prizes.

2:30 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard Lifesaving Demonstration

Every day at 2:30 at the 1901 Pan-Am, one of the most popular demonstrations of the expo was presented by the U.S. Lifesaving Station at what is now Delaware Park Lake. So be it. One hundred years later, head for Lake LaSalle, behind the Center for the Arts and see what the hoopla was all about.

3 p.m. "Doing the Pan: A Virtual Tour of the Pan-American Exposition"

Susan J. Eck, creator of the popular Web site, "Doing the Pan" at http://panam1901.bfn.org/, will give visitors a taste of the original experience via her digital site.

3-5 p.m. PA JAM II (see 11 a.m. entry)

3:30 p.m. Guided Tour of the UB Libraries' Pan-Am Exhibitions

Join a costumed hostess who will guide guests on a visit to a number of Pan-Am exhibits that were developed by various UB libraries and cover a broad range of topics.

4 p.m. "The Assassins," musical by Stephen Sondheim

The UB Department of Theatre and Dance will present the Stephen Sondheim play "Assassins," among whose characters is Leon Czolgosz, who shot President William McKinley at the 1901 Pan-Am. In the Black Box Theatre, Center for the Arts.

4-6 p.m. Organ Grinder sans monkey

Organ grinder Dan Wilke plays turn-of-the-century songs for your listening pleasure.

4:30 p.m. Miss the Coast Guard Demo? Don't worry -- it's BACK!

Lifesaving on Lake LaSalle.

5-7 p.m. Hot Air Balloon Rides

Five minutes in a tethered balloon at $10 a person. Can't beat the price. The Captive "Drop Me Off at Buffalo" Balloon Ride was a hit at the 1901 Pan-Am. Come relive the fun!

5-6 p.m. "The Life and Times of Col. John B. Weber"

William Tojek will present a slide presentation on Weber's 56 years of public service, including his roles in the Civil War and the Pan-American Exposition in the atrium, Center for the Arts.

6:30 p.m. Riverview Elementary School's Model Pan-Am

A presentation in period costume by Riverview Elementary School students of their n-gage model of the 1901 Pan-Am Exposition grounds.

7:30 p.m. "Miss Jane's Parlor" -- an incredible show

Robert Berkman and Jane Romanos present "Miss Jane's Parlor" in Slee Hall, featuring music played on the incredible pianola along with songs and stories of the Pan-Am. Originally presented at the 2000 June in Buffalo Conference and Festival of New Music.

9 p.m. "City of Light": The Lighting of the Exposition Grounds:

Certainly one of the most splendid daily events at the 1901 Pan-Am was the evening ritual lighting of the "Rainbow City." In this case, the massive n-gage model of the Pan-Am made by students at Tonawanda's Riverview Elementary School will be lit up as was the original, accompanied by a

performance of songs by the Freudig Singers similar to those played at the Pan-Am each evening when the grounds were illuminated. Special illumination will extend to the exterior of the Center for the Arts.

Sunday, September 23

Noon to 12:30 p.m. "Capoeira Mandinga" Buffalo Presentation

In keeping with the Pan-American multicultural theme of the original expo, Capoeira Mandinga Buffalo -- which includes UB students -- will present a performance of Mandinga, an African-Brazilian martial art said to be one of the most deadly forms of that discipline. Its wholly unpredictable moves combines dance, gymnastics, song and celebration.

Noon to 1 p.m. PA JAM II

Noon to 5 p.m. "Food of the Pan Am"

Ken Kerber is back with exhibits, lectures and demonstrations of food of the Pan-Am.

12:30 p.m. Solar-powered boat demonstrations on Lake LaSalle

1-1:45 p.m. In Jest

Performances by Nels Cremean, juggler extraordinaire.

1:30 p.m. Theodore Roosevelt Shows Up -- Again!

Yes, he's as dead as McKinley, but that won't stop Old Bully. He visits Panamania in the person of actor Richard St. George, accompanied by two Pan-Am police officers, courtesy of the Pedaling History Museum. Museum representatives will be on hand throughout the day to meet with visitors and show off their bicycles.

2-3 p.m. "Illuminating Stories Told in Black and White"

Karima and Raya present stories and folktales for children in commemoration of the Pan-American Exposition.

2:30-4:30 p.m. Llama Demonstrations and Play

3 p.m. Lifesaving demonstration by the U.S. Coast Guard

3 p.m. Gonzo the Balloon Man

3:30 p.m. PA JAM II

3:30 p.m. "Ostrich" Races

4 p.m. Solar-powered boat demonstrations on Lake LaSalle

4:30 p.m. Riverview's N-gage Pan-Am Model

Costumed presentation by Tonawanda's Riverview Elementary school students of their n-gage Pan-Am Model

4:30 p.m. "Ostrich" Race

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