Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster was joined Thursday by members of The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, local families and, of course, Santa Claus, to flip the switch and light Old Falls Street's three blocks. A highlight of the night, and of the block, is an illuminated 22-foot Christmas tree located just outside the conference center.
Guests were treated to complimentary hot chocolate and light refreshments. Prior to the street-lighting ceremony, The Conference & Event Center celebrated its 10th anniversary.
"On behalf of Gov. Cuomo and all of us at Empire State Development and USA Niagara, we are proud of all that our facility has accomplished over the past 10 years, especially its economic impact, room night generation and job creation," said USA Niagara President Christopher J. Schoepflin. "Our success is a result of the support of our customers and stakeholders, and would not be possible without the building's dedicated employees. A special thank you to the City of Niagara Falls and Global Spectrum who have been terrific partners."
"We are happy to commemorate this milestone with area stakeholders and clients who helped our facility become the beacon of development in downtown Niagara Falls," said Global Spectrum's Ryan Coate, general manager of The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls as well as Old Falls Street, USA.
The evening included the unveiling of "Coalescence," a new photography exhibit by Paula Sciuk, live music by The String Brothers Trio and The Celtic Circle Celidh Band Choir.
Sciuk, a Grand Island resident who was born in Niagara Falls, studied in Buffalo, where she was immersed in design associated with painting and sculpture. Her work focuses on the surface tension within reflective surfaces exploring diverse and abstract forms.
"The imagery in my work is fluid, caught in the instant between space and time, speaking to patterns and textures, earthly and alien, ancient and monolithic, contemporary and poetic," she said. "I feel the moment captured cannot be duplicated, therefore only a singular image is produced."
The photography exhibit will be on display until the fall of 2015.
The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls is located at 101 Old Falls St. (photos by Joshua Maloni; see more in our gallery)