Annual Wildlife Festival returns to Niagara Power Plant's visitors center weekend of Sept. 28by jmaloni
The New York Power Authority will host its 28th annual Wildlife Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free, family event will take place at the Power Vista, the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant's visitors center, and its surrounding grounds at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.
The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is returning with its popular rifle range and co-sponsors the event, which hosts more than 50 exhibitors.
The popular 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.
Other returning exhibitors include:
- Renowned Western New York naturalist Carmen Presti of thePrimate 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, Buffalo Zoomobile and the Aquarium of Niagara.
- A fishing pond courtesy of the Niagara River Anglers Association.
- Interpretive nature programs by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation, on various hiking adventures.
- Niagara River Iroquois dancers
- Chainsaw art by Clair Talbot Jr.
- Mike Randall, of Randall & Friends, will provide funny, fast-paced shows including magic, ventriloquism and audience participation. Randall is scheduled to perform during both days of the festival.
Children 15 years old and younger can participate in the Wildlife Festival Kids Fishing Derby during the two-day event. Fishing can take place at any of Niagara County's popular public fishing waters, including the NYPA reservoir and fishing pier.
Scales will be open at the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. tent between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. First-, second- and third-place winners will be announced in three age categories (7 and under, 8 to 12 years, and 13 to 15) at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. Prizes and an award for the biggest catch at the NYPA reservoir and fishing pier will also be given. NYPA fishing is open between April 1 and Nov. 30.
The Niagara Police Athletic League, Boy Scouts Troop 855, Boy Scout Troop 841 and Cub Scout Pack 841 are among the many food vendors at the festival.
Parking is free and will be available in the Power Vista parking lot, as well as adjacent parking lots at Niagara University. Free shuttle service will be provided. In addition, the Niagara Scenic Trolley will provide free rides during the two-day event between the Gorge Discovery Center and the Niagara Power Vista, courtesy of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.