The Kiwanis of Lewiston today held a news conference at Academy Park on Center Street in Lewiston to announce what’s new and the schedule of events at the upcoming 59th annual Niagara County Peach Festival. The festival is being held on September 9th, 10th and 11th at Academy Park on Center Street in Lewiston.
Kiwanis President Reverend Tom Mason, Former President Marty Pauly, Peach Festival Chairman Alan Hastings, veteran Peach Festival Advisory Chairman Jerry Wolfgang, 5k Run Chairman Randy Gorzka and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute Division Chair Mark Mistriner addressed the media. Samples of the Peach Festival’s famous peach shortcake were then distributed.
Chairman Hastings anticipates a crowd exceeding 30,000, weather permitting and one of the most successful Peach Festivals since the first held in 1958. Since that very first Peach Festival, the Kiwanis of Lewiston have contributed over one million dollars in goods and donations to area charities and organizations from event proceeds.
One of the new items announced by Chairman Hastings is the Niagara County vendors program, which identifies the County participants with signage at the Festival. Chairman Hastings also emphasized that the fresh peaches used for the peach shortcake are grown in Niagara County at Bittner-Singer Farms at 6620 Lake Road in Appleton. This year the Peach Festival is expected to serve more than 13,000 pounds (6.5 tons) of locally harvested peaches along with the fresh shortcake made by the famous local DiCamillo Bakery.
In all there will be twenty-two food vendors serving a wide variety of American and ethnic cuisine.
Amusements of America will again be the ride company at this year’s Peach Festival supplying forty-four thrill rides, family rides and kiddie rides, making it the largest midway in Niagara County. The Kiwanis and Amusements of America will also honor tickets purchased in 2015 at this year’s Peach Festival.
Advance ride tickets are now on sale at forty locations throughout the Lewiston greater area at a 50% discount. The discount locations can be found on the Peach Festival web site at www.lewistonpeachfestival.org/ride-tickets.
The schedule begins Friday September 9th at 5 PM with local first responders serving as the color guard and both the American and Canadian national anthems will be sung.
Friday night at 6 PM a “Cheer-leading Competition” will be held on stage featuring local units representing youth football and All-Star cheering squads.
The morning of September 10th the 38th annual Peach Festival 5K Run will be held. This year proceeds will go to Carolyn’s House, Niagara Falls and the Key Leader program of Kiwanis. The race is sponsored by Dimino’s Lewiston Tops, Niagara’s Choice Federal Credit Union, and the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston. Entrants can register at www.racemanagementsolutions.com.
Also, on Saturday morning the Peach Festival Parade will take place on Center Street at 11 AM. This year’s parade will feature over 100 units and twelve marching bands, an all-time high. Grand Marshall for the 2016 Niagara County Peach Festival Parade will be WGRZ-TV personality and Daybreak anchor Melissa Holmes. Serving as Parade announcer again this year will be Brandy Scrufari from Star 102.5 FM.
The peach recipe “Taste Off” competition will be held again this year sponsored by the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, the Niagara Gazette and Niagara Frontier Publications. Recipe entries can be mailed to Barbara Walck at Niagara Country Community College, 3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn, NY 14132. The three categories include “Food Enthusiast”, “Culinary Student” and “Children”. Entrants can win up to $500 in prizes.
The finals for the “Taste Off” will be held at 4 PM on the Academy Park Stage with judges Lynn Catalano from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropy, NCCC President James P. Klyczek, Mark Mistriner from the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and Brenda Alesii, food author and host of “Brenda’s Bites” on 1520 AM.
The Peach Blossom and Peach Fuzz contests for the youngsters will again attract more than fifty contestants and will occur Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The “Dance Showcase” featuring ten area dance companies, will take the stage Sunday September 11th from noon to 3 PM.
The finale for the Festival will take place Sunday night at 8 PM as the finals for the Peach Queen Pageant take place. This year fourteen girls from Niagara County have entered the competition for the crown of Peach Queen and the $4,000 scholarship awarded by the Kiwanis of Lewiston. The Hostess for the Peach Queen finals will be WGRZ-TV news anchor Maryalice Demler.
The Peach Queen contestants are currently collecting back to school items for the Magdalene Project http://www.magdalene-project.org/ after school programs now through the Peach Festival weekend. Those who are interested in donating can drop off school supply items prior to the festival at the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce office 895 Center Street in Lewiston.
Live musical entertainment will perform on stage throughout the Festival featuring Rescue Dawn, Terry Buchwald, The Boys of Summer and Everyday People. The full schedule of events is available at www.lewistonpeachfestival.org.
The 2016 Niagara County Peach Festival is sponsored by the Kiwanis of Lewiston, The Buffalo News, WGRZ-TV and Star 102.5 FM.