While the Niagara Falls Wintergarden is now gone, its holiday magic lives on in Lewiston.
M. Jacquie Lodico, who decorated the popular city site for many years, has overseen the transformation of Center Street's Binational Peace Garden into the Lewiston Wintergarden. The outdoor exhibit features animated reindeer, a glowing angel and lots and lots of lights.
"I thought it would be one more thing that makes Lewiston special," Lodico said.
The project represents a partnership between the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston Peace Garden committee.
"Last year, the chamber decided to utilize the Peace Garden as part of the Christmas Walk, having Santa greet children under a beautifully decorated tent throughout the Christmas Walk weekend. Jacquie and other members of the Lewiston Garden Club helped us decorate the area and it was a great success," said NRRCC President Jennifer Pauly. "This year, we decided to make it even better with more decorations, lights and Jacquie's idea of making it a Wintergarden, lit all season long. Both visitors and residents will enjoy a beautiful holiday display that will add to the charm of the village that people love."
Designer Richard Nashwinter, Judy Nicolia and Lodico decorated the garden.
"The ongoing theme is peace, which is so appropriate in this time of world tensions," Lodico said.
Also working on the Lewiston Wintergarden are University at Buffalo students Angel Nardolillo, Paige Tesmer and Kristen Alcazaren. They are erecting a live Christmas tree in the garden's fountain area.
The lights in the Lewiston Wintergarden will be officially turned on at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The public is invited to visit then, and every evening after 5 p.m. through Jan. 2, 2013.
Joshua Maloni contributed to this report.