The 14th annual Lewiston GardenFest, presented by the Lewiston Garden Club, is set for Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days along Center Street. It includes more than 80 vendors selling flowers, plants and garden essentials, along with speakers, demonstrations, a free garden walk and a container garden contest throughout the weekend.
“Whether you have a green thumb or are just beginning to plant, this year’s Lewiston GardenFest offers plenty of ideas and inspiration to enhance one’s own outdoor space,” said Sharon Low, Lewiston GardenFest co-chair. “This year we are encouraging festivalgoers to grow together and to make gardening a family affair with offerings for gardeners and future gardeners of all ages!”
Lewiston GardenFest’s family-focused activities this year include:
•David O’Donnell from Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm officially opening Lewiston GardenFest with a butterfly release at 10 a.m. Saturday in Hennepin Park.
•Young gardeners ages 5-11 are encouraged to prepare a special arrangement to participate in the container garden contest. Go traditional or get creative with your potting vessel. Applications are available at lewistongardenfest.com.
•Bring the kids to Hennepin Park, located at the corner of Center and Fourth Streets, for some crafty fun. Decorate ladybug rocks or create tissue flowers – both while supplies last – for a creative souvenir to take home.
•Join Jackie Albarella, television host and garden author, for a garden talk and demonstration on “Kid’s Gardening” at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Other garden talks on the schedule for this year’s event include “Using Ornamental Grasses in Container Gardening or in our Landscape” with Colleen Gaskill, a landscape design specialist, at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Master gardener and herbalist Peggy Nash will share “Legends, Lore and Use of Herbs” at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Master gardeners and representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Hosta and Daylily societies are also available in Hennepin Park throughout the weekend to answer gardening questions and provide free soil sample analysis.
Colleen Edwards, an educator from Stella Niagara, stands next to Lewiston Garden Club member Judy Munzi, and students from Stella Niagara Educational Park in previewing the garden at Stella Niagara.
Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers can stroll through several public and some private gardens of Lewiston residents, opened exclusively for Lewiston GardenFest, with a free garden walk. The gardens vary in size and style and are located within walking distance or a short drive from Center Street.
New this year, students from Stella Niagara will showcase their 2,000-square-foot garden, which is utilized as an outdoor classroom to support the school’s integrated outdoor education program. Focused on growing crops, students ranging from Montessori pre-K through eighth grade play an active role in the success of the garden – from planting crops to caring for the plants, and harvesting.
Pick up a map highlighting the featured gardens at one of the hospitality booths during GardenFest.
Want to put your own gardening skills to the test? Enter GardenFest’s container gardening contest. Prepare an arrangement in a traditional container or think outside the planter. Bring the container entry and a stand for display to the hospitality booth located in Hennepin Park by 9 a.m. Saturday.
All individuals who enter the contest will be entered in a drawing to win two tickets donated by Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Other prizes, including Maid of the Mist and Aquarium of Niagara tickets, will also be awarded to those containers that garner the most votes, including the children’s category.
“Lewiston GardenFest is organized by an enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers from the Lewiston Garden Club who put their green thumbs to work for the benefit of the community,” said Barbara Landree, GardenFest co-chair. “The event is completely free to attend, and all proceeds from Lewiston GardenFest go back into civic beautification efforts throughout the Lewiston area, including purchasing flowers, landscaping, and providing scholarships.”
GardenFest is sponsored by the Town of Lewiston, the Village of Lewiston, DiMino’s Lewiston Tops Markets, Modern Corporation, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Lakeside Sod Supply Inc., Wegmans, and dozens of local businesses. For more information, visit www.lewistongardenfest.com.