Fun in the sun at Summerfest: NOW Generation hosts second annual event at Youth Activities Center

The NOW Generation, an organization for young Chautauquans, hosted its second annual Summerfest last Saturday at the Youth Activities Center.

Having helped organize the festivities along with several volunteers, NOW Gen Advisory Council members Mhoire Murphy, Russell Bermel and Katie Prechtl Cooke attended the event with their families.

The event provided a continental breakfast and live acoustic entertainment from Uncle Claud’s Band, who refer to themselves as a “rock ’n’ roll orchestra.” Many NOW Gen guests in their 20s and 30s brought their families and children, who they’re affectionately calling the “Next Generation,” Cooke said. The NOW Gen also provided activities for children, tables strewn with bubbles, crayons and Play-Doh.

The first annual Summerfest was held around the Fourth of July holiday last year, but the organizers shifted this year’s timing to later in the season to take advantage of the crowd dissolving after the Old First Night Run.

“We wanted to tag it on to a good moment in the season where there was a critical mass of people, which is Old First Night weekend, which is always great,” Bermel said.

This also was the first time the NOW Gen invited the community to celebrate Summerfest at the Youth Activities Center. Last year, they hosted it at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club waterfront.

“I think it’s much bigger than last year, for sure,” Murphy said. “A lot more kids, which is great. We’re still playing around with the time and format, but I think it’s awesome.”

YAC Director Al Dibs was eager to host NOW Gen’s community-focused event.

“They came to me and asked about helping to put this on, and most of these NOW Generation kids have been YAC kids through the years, so it was a no-brainer,” he said.

Murphy and Bermel said they hoped Summerfest raised awareness about various events taking place throughout the summer for members of the NOW Gen, as well as other activities their peers are helping organize for the community.

For more information on the NOW Gen, visit or contact staff liaison Megan Sorenson at or at 716-357-6243.