Arts & Entertainment

Olean Celebrates Downtown Revitalization with 'strOlean' Event

Credits: Caleb McGuire
Credits: Caleb McGuire
Credits: Caleb McGuire
Credits: Caleb McGuire

OLEAN, NY -- To Mike Conroy the new look of downtown Olean is a “step in the right direction.”

The Olean resident and owner of the State Farm insurance agency on West State Street said he was excited as he made his way along North Union Street during Friday’s stroOlean event.

"It's brought more attention and activity to the downtown area," Conroy said, referring to the reconstruction and transformation project begun in 2013 that made North Union more accessible and walkable. The project was funded by a $6.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program grant given to the city in 2013.

Sign Up for E-News

Residents were encouraged to make their way downtown throughout the day and evening. Local businesses set up tents and hosted events to reach out to those who were strolling down North Union Street.

The Olean Public Library hosted raffles and games. Restaurants offered food specials from outdoor vending sites for those passing by.

Conroy said he was not exactly sure of the actual help the reconstruction has done for businesses, noting that time will do the telling for that. He was quick to add that as a resident he would like to see "more activities on a monthly basis like the old Olean Carnival, and family-packed events like Ellicotville does."

Colden Dwaileebe, a 20-year-old resident of Olean, said, "There has been a lot of talk about it, but I think they need to do more that caters to a younger crowd of people. If they want an influx of business and more people coming down, that's what they have to do, in my opinion."

Along with the North Union Street walkable set up, the strOlean team is hosting other events throughout the night including Yoga on the Lawn by Gentle Flow Yoga; a volleyball tourney at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College; a Wiffle ball tournament benefitting testicular cancer research, and a showing of the Disney movie “Moana” on the lawn of the JCC campus. StreetMasters cruised in and set up a car show, and a “Miles for Mercy Flight” walk/run began at 5 p.m.

Christina Baker, a long time resident of Olean, said she is a big fan of the whole project.

“I have been saying for years that we needed to do something different downtown,” Baker said. “I love what they've done here, and I think a lot of other Olean residents feel the same way."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Sights and Sounds: The First Four of the NCAA Tournament

Traffic is a common occurrence, but for fans of the Dayton Flyers, it’s a usual event every gameday. A trip across the Great Miami River leads to the Flyers’ athletic complex. It became the same ritual for Bonnies fans heading to the University of Dayton Arena for the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Snow, sleet and hail pounded down on the car as we ...

My Experience: What Almost Was Not

DAYTON, OHIO -- I almost didn’t get to shoot the game.

My media credential got all messed up because I neglected to go through one minor process (I’m an idiot lol and didn’t check my email). Luckily, some amazing people and friends helped push my name through, and I was granted media access to Tuesday's match against UCLA. For them, I am truly grateful and beyond ...

Bonnies Fan Finds Retribution in Trip to NCAA Tournament

Sunday, March 13, 2016. 

A day that doesn't sit well with Bonnies fans. The Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn had already left a sour taste in the mouths of Bona fans with an overtime loss in the quarterfinals to the Davidson Wildcats 90-86. Many students including myself took the chance to take an opportunity the day after to take a day to sightsee in New York City.

Sunday ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, March 19, 10:00 AM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Mother Goose Story Time


Mon, March 19, 12:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Simply Stories


Mon, March 19, 1:30 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Craft Class: Nifty Knitter

Home & Garden

CRCF Community Fund Grant Applications Are Due April 21

March 16, 2018

Grant applications for the next funding cycle of the Community Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation are due April 21.

“The Community Fund is an unrestricted fund that allows the foundation’s board to approve grants responsive to the changing needs of the community,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “The grants, typically between $100 ...

Archbishop Walsh Academy to Host St. Patrick's Day Party and Raffle

OLEAN, NY -- Archbishop Walsh Academy and the Walsh Sports Boosters Club will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Party and Raffle on Saturday, March 24, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Archbishop Walsh, 208 N. 24th St. The event welcomes over 700 guests and raises nearly $100,000 each year. It has become one of the school’s largest fundraisers, supporting ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...