Family-fun event to feature live music, fireworks
By Terry Duffy
High water levels are doing their best to put a crimp on summer fun throughout the River Region this year.
Think about it: docks under water; private boats still on shore under last year’s shrink wrap; the curtailment or cancellation of water-related activities throughout the lower river and Lake Ontario. It hasn’t been fun.
Contrast that to the heavy volume of boat traffic and water-related recreation activities found in the upper river around Buffalo and Lake Erie, and you can see it for yourself. Not a good summer for on-the-water fun in these parts.
As a result, many in our neck of the woods have resorted to seeking alternatives to traditional on-water summer fun. And there’s plenty to do and enjoy – evidenced by the seemingly dozens of enjoyable, all-ages events found on land throughout northern Niagara this time of year.
Come to think of it, there’s a good one on the calendar.
Next Saturday, July 20, the Town of Porter presents its annual Summerfest benefit inside the inviting Porter on the Lake Park, located off Dietz Road on the Lake Ontario shores. Porter Supervisor John “Duffy” Johnston and Town Board members are putting out the invite to residents in the area to stop by for a day of summer fun.
“The park is ready; it looks great,” said Johnston, adding the town’s highway department has been hard at work cleaning and sprucing things up at POTL, with improvements to the pavilion, restroom areas and the lakeside band shell, among others.
Johnston said this year’s Summerfest begins at 3 p.m., rain or shine, with a whole range of family-fun events planned. Fun, as in pony rides by MK Quarter Horses from Wilson, bounce houses by Nick Conde, and balloon art and face painting from the Niagara Clown Alley for the little ones.
For the older crowd, think two concerts, plenty of vendors, tasty foods, two beer-wine tents, dancing next to the lakeshore and a grand fireworks finale.
“We have a lot of things going on this year,” Johnston said.
And he’s not kidding.
Food-wise, visitors can look forward to plenty of good eats. Youngstown restaurants the Mug and Musket, the Ontario House (Stone Jug) and Sanger Farms will be there. So will the Great Foodini of Ransomville, John Penzotti of Festival Catering with his authentic poutine, the Nut Hut from Niagara Falls, plus The Brickyard Pub and B.B.Q. and Casa Antica from Lewiston.
A number of community groups and vendors also plan to be a part of Summerfest. Look for visitors from the Youngstown and Ransomville free libraries and the nonprofit animal rescue organization Joyful Rescues. Merchants expected include Gulliver’s Design, LuLaRoe Clothing, Paparazi Jewelry, Payne’s Pastry Table and Begotlen Farms.
And what about that entertainment? Good question. This one will feature not one but two popular live bands on stage, with country-rockers 90 West performing from 3-6 p.m. and the Tragically Hip tribute band Strictly Hip from 6 p.m. to dusk. Adding to the party will be a lakeside beer-wine tent and a special dance floor found next to the band shell area.
Rounding out the day will be a spectacular fireworks show, presented by Matt Shaw of Skylighters Fireworks of NY.
Admission to Summerfest is $5 per adult and includes parking. Children age 12 and under are admitted at no charge. No coolers or carry-ins will be permitted, and, due to fireworks preparations, access to the lakeshore areas will be limited.
Residents from throughout the River Region are invited to pack up the car and enjoy the day at Summerfest. For a modest admission charge, visitors can look forward to a day of family fun, good food, drink, numerous activities, entertainment and more – all at one of the most scenic lakeside parks in Niagara County.
Summerfest is presented by sponsors Certo Brothers Distributing, Modern Disposal Services, Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., Mark Cerrone Inc., Waste Management and Ransomville Speedway.
Additional sponsors include Ensol Inc., D.T. Truesdell Trucking, Ki-Po Chevrolet, Anchor Spirits, Northeast Landscaping, Hardison Funeral Home, Mawhiney Trucking, Fox Fence, Porter Return Center, Riverview Fitness, the Youngstown Business and Professional Association, BeauDesigns, CRB Holdings Inc. (Tim Hortons), Lock City Supply, Ken Greulich – Wilson Realty, Cambria Asphalt Products, IBEW Local 2014 and Main Street Pizza.
For additional information on Summerfest, contact the Town of Porter at 716-745-3730.