The Kiwanis of Lewiston held a news conference on August 26th at Academy Park on Center Street in Lewiston to announce what’s new and schedule of events at the upcoming 58th annual Niagara County Peach Festival. The festival is being held on September 11th, 12th and 13th at Academy Park.
Kiwanis President Marty Pauly, Peach Festival Chairman Gerry Gismondi and veteran Peach Festival Advisory Chairman Jerry Wolfgang addressed the media and distributed samples of the Peach Festival’s famous peach shortcake.
Chairman Gismondi 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.
Some of the highlights announced included the fact 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.
The fresh shortcake served with the local peaches will again be made by the famous local DiCamillo Bakery.
This year there will be twenty-two food vendors serving a wide variety of American and ethnic cuisine.
Amusements of America will be the new ride company at this year’s Peach Festival supplying thrill rides, family rides and kiddie rides. In all, Amusements of America will operate forty-four attractions making it the largest mid-way in Niagara County.
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.
Friday September 11th at 5 PM a special “911” remembrance will take place with local first responders serving as the color guard and both the American and Canadian national anthems being 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. Judges for the competition are Mrs. Annmarie Di-Mino-Hepner, Mrs. Carol Houwart-Diez, Tom Deal, Michael Fiore and Dr. James Klyczek.
The morning of September 12th the 37th annual Peach Festival 5K Run will be held. This year proceeds will go to Autism Research and the Wilson Community Food Pantry. 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/peach-festival.html.
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 2015 Niagara County Peach Festival Parade will be WGRZ-TV personality and weatherman Kevin O’Connell.
The peach recipe “Taste Off” competition will be held again this year sponsored by the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and the Niagara Gazette. Recipe entries can be mailed to the Niagara Gazette for three categories including “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, Mark Mistriner from the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Buffalo.com and Gusto writer Ben Tsujimoto and NCCC Board Chairman Jim Ward.
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 13th 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 sixteen 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.
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 2015 Niagara County Peach Festival is sponsored by the Kiwanis of Lewiston, Cerrone Construction, The Buffalo News, WGRZ-TV and Star 102.5 FM.