The New York Power Authority will host its 29th annual Wildlife Festival Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Power Vista, the Niagara Power Project's visitors center, located at 5777 Lewiston Road in Lewiston.
There's something for everyone at this weekend-long, admission-free family-fun celebration.
Event co-sponsor the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs returns with its popular rifle range. Other exhibitors include:
•Paul Schnell, from the Institute for Environmental Learning, who has participated in the festival since it began in 1985. He will return with Liberty the Bald Eagle and other raptors, including a young Eurasian eagle owl.
•Carmen Presti, renowned Western New York naturalist, from the Primate Sanctuary in Niagara Falls.
•Jeff Musial, from Nickel City Reptiles & Exotics, with presentations on reptiles, mammals and birds from around the world.
•Also in attendance: the Buffalo Zoomobile, Aquarium of Niagara, Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Niagara County SPCA wildlife division, state Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Interpretive Center.
Does your dog, cat, bird or other small house pet dance, sing or display an unusual or funny talent? If so, sign up for the "Most Talented Pet" contest. Winners will be selected both days. For contest rules, or to obtain an entry form, call 716-286-6652 or email [email protected].
The kids fishing derby also is back. All entrants are eligible to win a half-day fishing adventure in the lower Niagara River, compliments of Capt. Steve Drabczyk of DRAB6 Fishing Charters in Lewiston. Prizes for the biggest catch will be awarded in two age groups: 9 years old and younger, and from the age of 10 to 15.
Contestants can cast their line in any of Niagara County's popular public fishing waters, including the nearby Niagara Project fishing pier or Lewiston Reservoir. Scales will be open at the Niagara River Anglers tent between noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Taste NY will be represented at this year's festival. Taste NY kicked off in 2013 as a major component of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's tourism campaign. It highlights the quality, diversity and economic potential of New York's food and beverage industry at events, tourism destinations and retail stores throughout the state.
Taste NY is showcased at statewide, national and international events. These events expose thousands of people to New York-produced foods and beverages.
Wildlife Festival parking is free and will be available in the Power Vista parking lot and adjacent lots at Niagara University. Free shuttle service will be provided. The Niagara Scenic Trolley also will provide free rides between the Power Vista and the Gorge Discovery Center, courtesy of State Parks.
The event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 716-286-6661, 1-866-NYPA-FUN or visit www.nypa.gov for a complete schedule of activities.