The Happening - Then & Now
Originally known as the “Harley Happening”, the event was the creation of Randy Rosen. With the help of others at Gowanda Harley-Davidson, Rosen began the Harley Happening’ in 1999 to raise funds for the just started rehabilitation of Gowanda’s historic Hollywood Theater. The Gowanda Harley group continued the event through 2006, when the fatigue from the year-round effort forced them to step back. In 2007, the Hollywood Theater board took over the event under the name ‘Hollywood Happening’. They would continue the event through it’s 20th anniversary in 2018. At that time, with the theater rehabilitation getting close to completion and event fatigue setting in, the Hollywood group also backed away from staging the event.
Still, there were those in the Gowanda community who refused to allow this local highlight of the year fade away. A group of concerned citizens formed around a group of key players from the past many years and the event was reborn again, this time simply as ‘The Happening’. With the Hollywood Theater rehab in the home stretch, the current version of ‘The Happening’ is no longer strictly a theater fund-raiser. Use of the event proceeds is now open to other entities in Gowanda that benefit the community. For 2019, the primary beneficiary will be the Gowanda Volunteer Fire Company.