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Illumination of Niagara Falls
Featured in the Niagara County section of the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of Explore New York, is information about Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Lockport, Sanborn, North Tonawanda, Ransomville, Youngstown, Tonawanda, Olcott, Newfane and Town of Niagara.

Advertisers include: Aquarium of Niagara, New York State Power Authority's Power Vista, Riviera Theatre, Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, Niagara River Region, Erie Canal Discovery Center and Penney Gallery, Niagara History Center including Niagara Historical Society and Col. William Bond/Jesse Hawley House, The Giacomo Boutique Hotel, Fashion Outlets, Rainbow Air, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation's (NTCC) Official Niagara Falls Visitor Center, Old Fort Niagara, Seneca Niagara Casino, New York State Power Authority, An American Country Store, Newfane Olcott Fishing Derbies, Seneca Poker Room, Niagara Falls Culinary Center, Fashion Outlets, Artpark, Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, Smokin Joes Cultural Center and Joseph Jacobs Native American Sculpture Museum, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises, Lakeview Village Shoppes, Olcott Beach Carousel Parl & Images of the Past, Old Falls Street, Gathering of the Heart, Old Falls Street, Olcott Beach Carousel Park, Lakeview Village Shoppes, Niagara Jet Tours and Foley's Pub.
Niagara USA – Up close and historic

Join the fun and stay cool Thursday evenings by watching musicals on the silver screen, at the 1926 Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center (July 10 – September 4).

Fall for Niagara USA this autumn starting in historic Lockport, along the banks of the Erie Canal. The Biennial Niagara Frontier ArtExhibit (July 27 – August 29) at the Kenan Center. This exhibition of works by members of the Buffalo Niagara Art Association features 33 artists, at this historic mansion and culture center. This FREE public reception occurs during Lockport in Bloom.

History comes alive at Old Fort Niagara during Soldiers of the Revolution (August 2 – 3). This weekend of programs based on the American Revolution on the New York frontier will include battle demonstrations, musket and cannon firings, and hands-on activities for families.

Celebrate the end of summer at Labor Day at Park (September 1) at Olcott Beach Carousel Park. This family friendly day includes a magic show and balloon animals. Take a spin back in time for 25 cents on the lakefront carousel and don’t miss the shopping on the boardwalk at Lakeview Village Shoppes.

Enjoy an old fashioned festival complete with a parade, peach shortcake, carnival rides and more, at the Niagara County Peach Festival (September 5 – 7) at Academy Park in Lewiston.

History comes alive at Krull Park at the 14th Annual Niagara Celtic Heritage and Highland Games (September 13-14). Set inside the charming village of Olcott Beach, enjoy live Celtic music, dancers, sports, clans, living historians, vendors, food, contests and children’s activities.

For more information on all there is to see and do in Niagara USA, call 1-877-FALLS- US or www.niagara-usa.com to book your fall getaway.

Thrilling Excitement on the Niagara River

There is no more beautiful time than summer and fall in Western New York. The area is blessed with one of the natural wonders of the world - Niagara Falls. Just below the falls begins the stunning Niagara Gorge. From world class rapids to smooth fast waters surrounded by incomparable beauty, and nature, the Niagara Gorge has it all. Now there's a way to experience a thrilling jet boat adventure in the gorge in a new, dry, climate-controlled way with Niagara Jet Adventures. They get you up close and are the only river tour that runs in all 4 seasons (except when there is ice in the water).

Experience the whitewater thrills of the Niagara Gorge with Niagara Jet Adventures. Prepare yourself for 60 minutes of pure adrenalin in the new, powerful, Niagara class extreme tour boats. It's the jet boat adventure you can experience wet or dry, it's your choice with Niagara Jet Adventures. They are located at 555 Water Street in beautiful Youngstown.

To find out more or to book a ride of a lifetime call 855-652-8687, or visit them online at www.niagarajet.com. Feel the thrill of the Ultimate Niagara Jet Boat Adventure with Niagara Jet Adventures!

Olcott Beach Carousel Park Celebrates 12 Years!

The Olcott Beach Carousel Park features a 1928 Herschell-Spillman carousel that overlooks Lake Ontario. For children who are 52 inches or less, there are 5 vintage kiddie rides. Children 8 years and older and adults can try their luck with one of the 25˘ vintage Skee ball machines. In addition, the park features a small old-fashioned arcade and a Pick Up A Duck Game (a prize every time). For our twelfth season we have a big celebration on Aug. 24th featuring a puppet show on our stage, face painting, balloon animals and more! Look for stage shows at our Tom Kelley Rustic Theater on the following dates: July 12 & 13 at 2 p.m. - The Extra Fun Balloon Show; Aug. 3 (alternate date Aug. 10) - In Jest Comedy Variety Show with Nels Ross; Aug. 24 at 12:15 & 3:15 p.m. - The Three Little Pigs Puppet Play by Omnipresent Theater; and Labor Day, Sept. 1 - Rob and Carol Allen’s Magic Show at 2:30 p.m. with balloon animals made from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. All rides at the park are 25˘, there is no admission fee and parking is free.

The park is open Sat., Sun. and Mon. of Memorial Day Weekend from 12-6pm. June hours are Sat. 12-8pm and Sun. 12 – 6pm. During July and August, the park is open Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Sun. from 12-6pm and Sat. 12-8pm. The last day of the season is Labor Day, from 12-6pm.

Across the street from the Park, Olcott has a swimming beach with lifeguards. Nearby Krull Park offers beautifully shaded picnic areas, a kiddie playground, kiddie splash park and an exercise trail. Olcott features summer concerts at the Main St. Gazebo starting Memorial Day (Monday at 2 pm), Sundays from June 1-Aug. 31, from 2-4pm and Labor Day at 2pm. Restaurants, quaint shops, attractions, Saturday Night Car Shows, and festivals are all within walking distance from OBCP.

This year Olcott will host the Band Organ Rally presented by the Carousel Organ Association to coincide with Old Olcott Days which features free historic trolley tours. The events take place from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on July 26 and 27. For more information visit www.olcottbeachcarouselpark.org

Come For Dinner – Stay For The Show

The Topper Restaurant and Night Club has recently reopened and has become a favorite in Niagara Falls. Located at 492 19th Street, The Topper is just minutes from the mighty Falls and downtown attractions. This former speakeasy boasts entertainment Wednesday through Saturday and offers a menu that will please every palate.

The Topper attracts only the top local, regional and national talent. The line-up includes blues, classic rock, jazz & rock-a-billy. Some of the upcoming shows for August-October will include:
The Rick Rhodes Band – classic & roots rock; Sturner & Mahfoud – A duo of the highest caliber with keyboard + classical & blues guitar; The Marabella Trio – roots to modern, high quality musicianship;
Jamie Holka - tops among the areas best guitarists, unbelievable; The Skiffle Minstrels - rock-a- billy the way it should be - dance, dance, dance and The USA Band - 60s & 70s rock. The Topper has a weekly Open Mic night with rhythm & blues band, Big Tobacco, a piano bar and monthly comedy shows added to the entertainment mix.

Besides their diverse menu, the current weekly specials include a Wednesday Clam & Rib combo, Thursday is two T-bone steak dinners for under $40 and a Western NY favorite, Friday night fish dinners. An extensive sandwich and pub grub menu is also available. Dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday and lunch on Friday and Saturday. The full service bar boasts a huge selection of local craft beers and wines along with classic and innovative cocktails.

For more information or to book a large party, visit The Topper website at www.thetopper.net or call
Aquarium of Niagara
  Aquarium of Niagara Creature Feature

They’re called hermit crabs because they keep pretty much to themselves except when they need a bigger shell to live in. Then, they rely on larger hermit crabs to shed their shells so they can move in. These crustaceans are one of the most popular residents of the Aquarium of Niagara.

Hermit crabs don’t start out with a shell of their own. After a final larval stage, they find a small shell that will keep them from being someone’s lunch. The hermit crab usually moves into a sea snail shell where its soft, vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators. When the shell is big enough and the crab small enough, they are able to retract so far into their shells that it is sometimes impossible to know they’re in there. As a result, the crabs sometimes find themselves “collected” and taken home as a souvenir. One Florida-vacationing family did just that, but when they found the shells had moved overnight, they returned them to the cove where they were found and the crabs quickly crawled off into deeper water.

These fun crabs live in varying depths of salt water, from shallow reefs and shorelines to deep sea bottoms. Tropical waters host some terrestrial species. There are only a few hermit crabs that don’t occupy “mobile homes;” however they too head for a place to hide, often crawling into immobile structures left by sea worms, gastropods (sea snails, slugs, etc.), corals and sponges.

If you haven’t been to the Aquarium or at least not in awhile, there is so much more to see at sea level. There’s Twister, a Pacific ocean octopus, two young sea lions in the main pool and rare yellow lobsters.

The Aquarium opens at 9 a.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, call 716-285-3575.

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