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A scene from the 2023 Lewiston GardenFest. (File photo)
A scene from the 2023 Lewiston GardenFest. (File photo)

'Spring into summer' at annual Lewiston GardenFest

Fri, Jun 14th 2024 07:00 am

Lewiston Garden Club event is June 15-16 along Center Street 

√ 'Lewiston Porchfest Unplugged' debuts

The Lewiston Garden Club will present its annual Lewiston GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, along Center Street. The Lewiston Garden Club event will include approximately 70 vendors selling flowers, plants, and handcrafted garden essentials, along with a garden walk, speakers, and a container garden contest.

“Lewiston GardenFest brings together gardeners of varying skill levels and visitors alike to share ideas and special finds for your outdoor space,” said Mary Ann Yates, chair, Lewiston GardenFest. “This annual event not only highlights our community’s love of gardening, it’s also a major fundraiser for Lewiston Garden Club, with proceeds going right back into local beautification efforts and youth scholarships.”

Businesses and vendors sell items related to gardening, horticulture and the outdoors, including nurseries, landscapers and garden artists.

Select Village and Town of Lewiston residents will showcase their own gardens as part of Lewiston GardenFest’s open gardens. Garden enthusiasts can visit several public and private gardens featured on a free garden walk throughout the event weekend. Participating gardens will be on display when the “Open Garden” signs are in place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The gardens vary in size and style and are located both within walking distance, and a short drive from Center Street. Maps highlighting the featured gardens can be picked up at one of the hospitality booths during the festival.

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Lewiston GardenFest is free to attend. In addition to the garden-related vendors and open gardens to explore, the event also includes a variety of speakers and master gardeners on hand to answer questions throughout the weekend, plus garden-themed craft activities for children.

Gardeners of all ages and experience levels can participate in GardenFest’s annual container garden contest. Prepare an arrangement in a traditional container or think outside the planter. Bring a container entry and a stand for display to the container garden tent in Hennepin Park by 9 a.m. Saturday.

Throughout the weekend, festival guests can vote for their favorite container garden. Prizes will be awarded in both children and adult categories to those containers that receive the most votes.

Lewiston Council on the Arts is also enhancing Lewiston GardenFest by sponsoring "Lewiston Porchfest Unplugged" from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, with live music on Lewiston’s porches.

Porchfest is a music festival in which musicians set up on a porch (or deck, driveway, or other place), and those passing by – on their way to an open garden, perhaps! – are treated to a concert.

“We are excited to work with the Garden Club to give local musicians a performance opportunity and to enhance the garden tour experience of the Garden Festival,” said LCA Executive Director Maria Fortuna Dean.

Learn some new tips and techniques from one of three speakers scheduled throughout the weekend in front of the Frontier House. On Saturday at 11 a.m., join Tim Zimmerman, CNLP from Medford Nursery, to learn about “What’s New & Nice for 2024 in the Shrub and Perennial Yards.” At 1 p.m., David Clark, CNLP, horticulture instructor, will discuss shade gardening, including companions for Hosta plants. On Sunday at 1 p.m., Carol Ann Harlos, master gardener and journalist, will increase one’s gardening knowledge with her informative presentation on “Sex in the Garden.”

Representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension will be available in Hennepin Park to answer gardening questions and provide free soil sample analysis. In addition, the youngest gardeners can enjoy fun caterpillar and butterfly crafts, both while supplies last.

“Part of the fun of Lewiston GardenFest is that we offer plenty of ideas no matter what level of gardener you may be,” Yates said. “Gain inspiration from our open gardens and speakers, find the right plant for your front porch, or accentuate your current landscapes with unique planters or décor. There’s plenty of growing season left throughout the summer to enjoy the beauty of your outdoor space!”

Lewiston GardenFest is sponsored by the Village of Lewiston, Town of Lewiston, DiMino’s Lewiston Tops, Lakeside Sod Supply Co., Modern Disposal Services, the Niagara County Legislature, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Northwest Bank, Wegmans and various local businesses.

Proceeds from Lewiston GardenFest go toward the Lewiston Garden Club’s beautification efforts and scholarships for local youth. For more information, visit lewistongardenfest.com.

A scene from the 2023 Lewiston GardenFest. (File photo)

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‘Porchfest Unplugged’ to debut as part of Lewiston GardenFest

Saturday, June 15, will mark the first “Lewiston Porchfest Unplugged,” presented by the Lewiston Council on the Arts. From noon to 5 p.m., Western New York musicians will perform on the porches, driveways and lawns in the village, giving GardenFest-goers a chance to hear live music as they stroll to visit the many open gardens.

"There is so much musical talent in WNY, and the Lewiston Council on the Arts is thrilled to be able to offer this performance opportunity to these artists of all ages and musical genres," Executive Director Maria Fortuna Dean said. "We are grateful to our neighbors who will be hosting bands on their porches, and to the Lewiston Garden Club, who has graciously collaborated with us on this exciting event."

The schedule includes:

•448 Plain St.

√ Noon: akloh.

√ 1:30 p.m.: Richard Zucco

√ 3 p.m.: Abigail Forsey

•The Orange Cat Coffee Co., 703 Center St.

√ 12:15 p.m.: Cellar Dwellers

√ 2 p.m.: Borderline

3:30 p.m.: Summer of ‘69

•315 Merrie Road

√ 12:15 p.m.: Lewiston-Porter High School student musicians

√ 2:30 p.m.: TNT Vocal Dynamites

•250 S. First St.

√ 12:45 p.m.: The Tunesmiths

√ 2:30 p.m.: Outlaw

•220 Onondaga St.

√ 12:30 p.m.: Joe Marra

√ 2 p.m.: Al Sexton

√ 3:30 p.m.: Aric Zair

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The Lewiston Garden Club was able to personally thank most of the corporate sponsors for GardenFest 2024. (Photos by Robert Albee)

Pictured, in Hennepin Park, from left, row one: Village of Lewiston Trustee Nick Conde, Niagara County Legislator Irene Myers and Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick; row two: Barbara Carter, Garden Club President Sharon Low, Modern CEO Micheal McInerney, GardenFest 2024 Chair Mary Ann Yates, Modern Communications Director Jennifer Aiple, Judy Talarico and Doreen Albee.

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission CEO Ken Bieger is shown with Mary Ann Yates, Nicole Johnson, Barbara Carter, Judy Talarico and Doreen Albee. (Photo by Robert Albee)

DiMino’s Lewiston Tops has been the longtime sponsor of open gardens. From left: Judy Talarico, Barbara Carter, Anthony DiMino, GardenFest open gardens chair Nicole Johnson, Mary Ann Yates and Doreen Albee. (Photo by Robert Albee)

Northwest Bank is sponsoring a rock painting activity for children during GardenFest. Pictured from left: Anthony Giancola, Mary Ann Yates, Judy Talarico, Nicole Johnson, Sharon Low, Barbara Carter, Jean DeGiulio, Branch Manager Jackie Nightingale and Lucas Dietz. (Photo by Robert Albee)

Wegmans is sponsoring the container garden contest. Wegmans’ employees Rick, Lisa and Natalia are shown with Garden Club members. Lakeside Sod Supply Company Inc. is the sponsor of the Speakers Series, which will be in the tent in front of the Frontier House and feature three educational demonstrations. (Photo by Robert Albee)

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