Comedy Fest Delivers More Than Laughs, It Keeps Friends Together

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival does more than just make people laugh, it is also keeping friends together over the years. 

For one group of women, they look forward to the festival each year, not just for the comedic performances, but to catch up with one another.

“It’s wonderful,” stated Mary Roelofs.

“Good, it’s great,“ said Ellen Waterway. 

“Oh it’s great,” stated Sue Smither. “We’ve had a great time.”

“Great,” said Barb Mcarthur. “We’re here for lucy.” 

The group uses the Comedy Festival to keep in touch, in fact they’ve met here annually for the past two decades, even during the pandemic.

“This is how we keep up with each other,” explained Sue Smither. 

“Last year, there was none but we came anyways,” stated Barb Mcarthur. “We had a birthday party at Lucille Ball Park.”

Just like these four, another group from outside the area visited Jamestown for the festival, to see Comedian Margaret Cho.

“Awesome,” stated Denise Kennedy.

“So fun,” said Suzy.

“I’m so happy,” exclaimed Stephanie Tasso.

“Where else can you go and get food trucks, beer on the street, music, and go to a comedy show,” explained Denise Kennedy. “It’s brilliant.” 

“We purposely chose this site for our reunion,” stated Stephanie Tasso. “We get together every year, we’re college roommates, we purposely chose this site this year because we love Margaret Cho.”

Those behind this year’s comedy fest say it’s rewarding to see everything come together. 

“We all have these staff shirts on and just to have guests coming up to us and applauding everyone’s efforts and saying just what a wonderful time their having and find out where they’re all coming in from. We’ve had Chicago, Massachusetts, obviously a lot of locals as well, but really folks from all over,” explained Megan Echwahl, Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Festival.

The staggering amount of people from outside the region that visit downtown Jamestown, help keep places like Fullmoon Rising Bakery in business.

“It’s definitely mostly tourists down here I would say,” explained Owner and Sugar Artist Andrea Latona-Miller. “When people say tourism doesn’t happen in Jamestown, those are the people who don’t hang out in Jamestown and see it happening, because the main people who walk into my bakery all year long are tourists. Those are the people who keep me in business, so whoever is saying Jamestown isn’t hoping, they don’t come hang out down here.”


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