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Lewiston Smelt Festival expected to draw large (hungry) crowds May 2

by jmaloni
Sat, Apr 26th 2014 09:00 am
Long lines are the norm at the Lewiston Smelt Festival as people wait for a free sample of the salty, crunchy, delicious fish. Fortunately, servers move people in and out rather quickly. (file photos)
Long lines are the norm at the Lewiston Smelt Festival as people wait for a free sample of the salty, crunchy, delicious fish. Fortunately, servers move people in and out rather quickly. (file photos)

'Lewiston never smelt so good'

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Lewiston and The Silo Restaurant, in cooperation with the Niagara River Anglers, will celebrate one of the region's most famous natural resources when they host the Lewiston Smelt Festival. The annual kickoff to summer takes place Friday, May 2, beginning at 6 p.m., at the foot of Center Street (along the water).

The Niagara River Anglers will batter and fry 400 pounds of smelt, which will be distributed as free samples to festivalgoers. Anglers and Niagara River Region Chamber staff, board of directors and local dignitaries will pass out the smelt bowls.

Additional food and beverage will be available for purchase.

Smelt-tasters can enjoy entertainment from the Lakeside Blues Band, plus an appearance by the "Smelt King" and his royal court.

This event is geared toward an adult audience.

While the smelt is free, donations will be accepted and put toward Niagara River Anglers' community programs.

Waste Management Inc. sponsors the Smelt Festival. The tent is supplied by Brett's Tent & Awning. Portable toilets will be on site thanks to the Modern Corp.

Lewiston restaurants also will prepare smelt and smelt-inspired dishes over the first May weekend. Participating restaurants will have a decorative fish flag outside their doors.

For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce office at 716-754-9500 or online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deemed Lewiston as one of the best places in the country for smelt dipping. Smelt are one of the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to net.

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