By Susan Mikula Campbell
It's right there tickling at the edge of your mind. You know you've seen this object before, part of a Lewiston building or landmark. But where?
Those who think they can solve the mystery will love the annual Lewiston County Fair's newest addition - the Village Photo Guessing Contest.
The Village of Lewiston Recreation Department's annual fair on Saturday, Sept. 19, will offer activities ranging from a community yard sale to a petting zoo to a variety of contests for amateur gardeners, farmers, bakers and creative people. It's all being held at the Lewiston Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St.
Mike and Nicole Stuart, owners of Stu Stu Studio in the Lewiston Opera Hall at 736 Center Street, are providing the photos for the new guessing contest. The photos will be available for viewing on a clothesline show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Red Brick Gym the day of the fair. For those who want a head start, beginning Monday, Sept. 14, check out the Village of Lewiston Recreation Department Facebook page where photos will be released in advance.
Contestants who have the correct answers will be placed in a raffle to win a gift card to a local establishment.
Expect a challenge. Mike and Nicole know their village. The young couple and their sons, ages 2 and 6, live within walking distance of the Red Brick. Nicole was born and raised in Lewiston. The Stuarts were high school sweethearts, graduating from Lewiston-Porter High School (he in 1997 and she in 1998) and going on to SUNY Fredonia.
About three years ago, they started Stu Stu Studio, a play on their last name and a nod to Phil Collins' 1985 hit "Sussudio." They even use the lyrics "Just say the word" as part of their shop's tagline. Mike, who also works full time for Modern Disposal, specializes in computer artistic work, landscapes, architecture and web design. Nicole is an expert portrait photographer. Both do photos at weddings. Interestingly, Mike is a former winner of the Lewiston Country Fair Photo Contest.
That photography contest continues this year. The new photo guessing contest was added by Brendan McDermott, the village's new recreation director. "We think it's a fun way to get people in the door," he said.
While McDermott is replacing longtime director Marianne Gittermann, who recently retired, he's no stranger to the Lewiston County Fair. "I worked with her for eight years. I've certainly been through it many times with Marianne."
Gittermann has been in the wings offering behind the scenes assistance, but she will be away the day of the fair, giving him free rein to run his first event with the assistance of his staff and the Lewiston Garden Club.
McDermott is a member of Lewiston-Porter's Class of 2000 and earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Niagara University.
"I grew up in the village," the Town of Lewiston resident said. "I certainly used the Red Brick and have a great appreciation for all the events we run and do."
More information and applications for the various Lewiston Country Fair contests are available at www.villageoflewiston.net. "We're flexible," McDermott said of deadlines.
As of this week, there were still a few openings for spaces at the yard sale that will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spaces are $15. In addition to online registration, those interested can call 754-1990 or visit the village clerk's office in the Red Brick.
Registration for the various competitions also will be available from 8:45-10 a.m. Sept. 19. Judging will be 10-11 a.m.
Compete in various divisions for best flowers and vegetables. Large pumpkins will be welcomed. Flower contests will be based on those blooming in September as well as dried arrangements and houseplants. All vegetables and flowers must have been grown by the entrant.
Amateur bakers can show off in the cake, pie, cookie and miscellaneous competition. All items must be from scratch. Ingredients must be listed and cannot include items such as instant pudding, cake mixes, etc.
The relish and jams competition includes pickles, salsa and relishes, jams and preserves. Ingredients must be listed and the items must be made from scratch.
Families and individuals can submit a scarecrow for the "Avenue of Scarecrows."
Amateur photographers can compete in four categories: nature, people, landscape and photos of Lewiston. A special prize will be awarded to the Lewiston category winner. Photos can be in color or black and white. All photos are to be at least 5 by 7 inches and must be matted or framed. Only two photos can be submitted for each of the categories.
The craft competition categories are wood, printing, painting, wreaths, crafts, needlework/sewing, (no clothing, unless part of another craft such as beading or quilting), crochet/knitting, quilts and miscellaneous.
Looking for more to do? The Lewiston Junior Garden Club will hold a "Make Your Own Arrangement" program from 11:30 a.m. until supplies are gone. Children and adults alike can make an arrangement with mums. All supplies will be provided free of charge.
There also will be free popcorn, drinks and balloons.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the petting zoo will be open and from noon to 2 p.m., the Bounce-n-Around bounce house will be available for children. Country music will be played from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
All the events are free and open to residents and non-residents. The Lewiston Country Fair will be held rain or shine with as many events moving inside as possible if there is inclement weather.
The Stuart family definitely plans to attend, not just to see the result of the new competition but for the fun.
"I wouldn't miss it. My kids love it, they absolutely love it," Mike said. "It's really got that nice small town feel."
He urged others to take advantage of this event and others that keep the village interesting. "It's really a no-brainer to support events like this. If you don't go out to them, they won't keep happening."
IF YOU GO:
Lewiston Country Fair, Saturday, Sept. 19
Pictured is one of the "clues" prepared by Stu Stu Studio for the village photo guessing contest at the Lewiston Country Fair. Identify the building or site of which it is a part of at the event. Other photo clues will be posted online starting next week up until the event.