Don't look now, but a favorite rite of spring in northern Niagara is fast approaching.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Village of Lewiston and Silo Restaurant, in cooperation with the Niagara River Anglers, will celebrate one of the region's most famous natural resources as they host the Lewiston Smelt Festival. The festival takes place on Friday, May 6, beginning at 6 p.m., at the foot of Center Street along the Lewiston Waterfront. The Niagara River Anglers and Niagara River Region Chamber staff and local dignitaries will serve the free smelt on Friday night.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deemed Lewiston as one of the best places in the country for smelt dipping. Smelt, which feature a distinctive cucumber fragrance when plucked from the water, are one of the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to net.
Beginning at 6 p.m. on May 6, the Niagara River Anglers will batter and fry up 350 pounds of free smelt, sponsored by Waste Management Inc. Additional food and beverage such as chowder, beer and a variety of picnic foods will be available for purchase.
Smelt-tasters can enjoy entertainment from the Lakeside Blues Band on Friday night. This event is geared toward an adult audience. The tent, stage, and tables are set up by Falls Tent and Awning. Portable toilets will be on location, donated by the Modern Corporation.
Lewiston restaurants also will be busy preparing their own culinary variation of smelt over the weekend. Participating restaurants can be identified by a decorative fish flag outside their door. For additional information, contact the chamber office at 754-9500 or online atwww.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.