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Wildlife Festival popular with children, families

by jmaloni
Fri, Sep 21st 2012 07:00 am
The Wildlife Festival returns this weekend.
The Wildlife Festival returns this weekend.

The New York Power Authority will host the 27th annual Wildlife Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23. The free family event will take place at the Power Vista, the Niagara Power Project's Visitors Center, and its surrounding grounds at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.

Parking is free and will be available in the Power Vista parking lot as well as adjacent parking lots at Niagara University. Shuttle service will be provided from parking areas to the festival. In addition, the Niagara Scenic Trolley will provide free rides throughout the event between the Gorge Discovery Center and the Niagara Power Vista courtesy of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

•Read Emily Kaufman's Wildlife Festival blog

The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is returning with its popular rifle range and co-sponsors the event that hosts more than 50 exhibitors. Other returning exhibitors include:

•Renowned Western New York naturalist Carmen Presti of the Primate 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 Aquarium of Niagara.

•A fishing pond courtesy of the Niagara River Anglers Association.

•Interpretive nature programs by the state Parks Department on various hiking adventures.

•Niagara River Iroquois Dancers.

•Skyhunters - an exhibit of birds of prey.

Other events include:

•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, a peregrine falcon and a red tail hawk.

•Mike Randall, of Randall and Friends, with funny, fast-paced shows utilizing magic, ventriloquism and audience participation.

•Children 15 years old and younger can participate both days in the Wildlife Festival Kids Fishing Derby. 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 years old and under, 8 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years) at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. There also will be awards and prizes for biggest catch from the NYPA reservoir and fishing pier.

•Niagara PAL, the Carolyn's House Culinary Arts Program, Boy Scout Troop 841, Cub Scout Pack 841 and the Cambria Junior Firefighters Explorers Post No. 0432 will operate food booths at the festival.

The Wildlife Festival at the Power Vista is 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.

•Read Emily Kaufman's Wildlife Festival blog

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