by Tiffany Hyman
What is the result of combining artwork, jewelry, woodwork, candles and crafts? The answer is one of Lewiston's biggest fall events - the 28th annual Lewiston Harvest Festival, taking place Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25. The fest runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Center Street will be a hip and happening place during the event, featuring more than 75 crafters. Among the many diverse, handmade crafts will be pottery, knitting goods, photography, glass-making and wood-making.
"It's just a great time and has a lot of different crafts to offer to the public," said Village of Lewiston Mayor Terry Collesano.
A harvest would not be complete without a variety of food. Fear not: Food will be served throughout both days to feed guests' appetites. A few of the tasty treats include hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, vegetables, fruit and fried dough. In addition, farm vendors will offer fall specials, such as pumpkins and squash. Lewiston's own farmers market will deliver top-quality products and favorites, including hardy mums, fresh honey and a selection from the Niagara Wine Trail.
Kenny Chesney has entertained audiences over the country with his hit, "Boys of Fall," a song about love and the beautiful, autumn air. OK, OK. Maybe entertainment will not be as much of a fall-centered theme, but it will still keep guests on their feet, and dancing in the street. Niagara University's radio station, WNIA, will broadcast live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tony Petrocelli from Lewiston Music will perform his hit sensations from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. There needs to be some dancing, too. The Hot Country Line Dancers will show off their best moves from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Oh Sunday, funday. Entertainment for Sunday includes the country favorite band, Colt 45, performing from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the historic Frontier House, and a showcase from Lewiston Music at Hennepin Park Gazebo.
"It's a great way to showcase the village and help boost the economy," Collesano said. "Everyone should come out and enjoy it."
For more information, contact the Niagara River Chamber of Commerce at 754-9500 or visit www.niagarariverregion.com.
•The New York Power Authority will host the 26th annual Wildlife Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free family event will take place at the Power Vista, the Niagara Power Project's Visitors Center, and its surrounding grounds at 5777 Lewiston Road.
Parking is free and will be available in the Power Vista parking lot, as well as adjacent parking lots at Niagara University. We Care Transportation will provide shuttle service from parking areas to the festival. In addition, the Niagara Scenic Trolley will provide free rides every half-hour between the Gorge Discover Center and the Niagara Power Vista courtesy of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is returning with its popular rifle range and co-sponsors the event that hosts more than 50 exhibitors. Other returning exhibitors include:
•Renowned Western New York naturalist Carmen Presti of the Primate Sanctuary in Niagara Falls;
•Jeff Musial from Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics with presentations about the world of reptiles, mammals and birds from around the world;
•Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, the Buffalo Zoomobile and Aquarium of Niagara;
•A fishing pond courtesy of the Niagara River Anglers Association;
•Interpretive nature programs by State Parks on various hiking adventures;
•Niagara River Iroquois Dancers.
Paul Schnell from the Institute for Environmental Learning, who has participated in the festival since it began in 1985, will bring along "Liberty the Bald Eagle" and other raptors such as a screech owl, peregrine, falcon and red tail hawk.
Mike Randall of Randall & Friends, which provides funny, fast-paced shows including magic, ventriloquism and audience participation, will perform both days of the festival.
Children up to age 16 can participate in the Wildlife Festival Kids Fishing Derby during the two-day festival. Fishing will take place in the reservoir. Fish will be measured at the festival between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. First-, second- and third-place winners will be announced in three age categories (up to 8 years old, ages 9 to 13, and 14 to 16) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Each winner in all categories will receive a fishing pole. The reservoir is open for fishing between April 1 and Nov. 30.
A new presentation at this year's festival will be live demonstrations of chainsaw carving art by Lockport artist Clair Talbot Jr. Talbot will display a NYPA bench he carved in commemoration of the Niagara Power Project's 50th anniversary of its first power.
Niagara PAL, the Carolyn's House Culinary Arts Program, Boy Scout Troop 841, Cub Scout Pack 841 and the Cambria Junior Firefighters Explorers Post No. 0432 are among food vendors at the festival.
The Wildlife Festival is held rain or shine. For more information, call 286-6661 or visit www.nypa.gov for a complete schedule of activities. (press release)