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Illumination of Niagara Falls
Featured in the Niagara County section of the Winter 2013-14 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

Niagara USA – Where History Comes Alive.

Ride into history on the Erie Canal at Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises. Enjoy a unique narrated two-hour cruise through five original, double locks where the boat is raised and lowered 50-feet.Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride, also in Lockport, NY along the Erie Canal, offers an exciting 70-minute guided tour through ruins from an earlier industrial age. Walk safely through a water tunnel that was blasted out of solid rock in the 1850s and view stalactites, flow stone, various geological formations and artifacts left behind by the men who built the tunnel in the early days of the Erie Canal.

Travel back in time to “ye days of olde” at the Fourteenth Annual Brass Ring Thing Renaissance Festival at the historic Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum (180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, NY 14120) from 11 am to 6 pm June 7. Join knights, ladies, and the local community to celebrate the early origins of carrousels. Immerse yourself in history with weapons demonstrations and tournaments, period songsters and storytellers, historic artisan demonstrations, themed crafts and games, vendors, food, contests—and so much more.

Get outside and enjoy an evening history hike from 7 to 8:30 pm June 13 at Old Fort Niagara (1 Scott Ave., Youngstown, NY 14174). The hike will cover an overview of the Niagara River, Old Fort Niagara – the oldest fortress on the Great Lakes, the site’s interesting history of POW’s and what’s new at Fort Niagara. Call 716-285-0516 to register.

From 9 am to 4 pm July 4 through 6, Old Fort Niagara will recreate the dramatic events of the summer of 1759, during the annual French and Indian War Encampment. The three day event will feature two battle reenactments each day with 18th Century artisans, music, living history programs and many other activities.

For information about these and other exciting events or to book your vacation package in Niagara USA, visit us online www.niagara-usa.com or call 1-877 FALLS US.
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
Lewiston Art Festival 2014

Lewiston’s reputation as a thriving arts community and cultural epicenter is due in no small part to the annual Lewiston Art Festival. Sponsored by Lewiston Council on the Arts (LCA) (www.artcouncil.org) and now in it’s 48th year, the Festival has been named “Top Cultural Destinations,” First Sunday Magazine; “Summer Festival Showcase Event,” Bi-National Niagara Tourism Alliance; and “Top 100 Attractions Along the Seaway Trail,” by Journey Magazine.

On August 9 & 10 from 10 am to 6 pm, this prestigious event will showcase the work of more than 175 professional and student artists from 13 states as far away as Alaska, Florida and Texas. Artists will compete for prize money awarded in 8 categories including; painting, photography, graphic arts, sculpture, artistic crafts (ceramics, wood, fiber, glass) and jewelry. Modern Corporation generously co-sponsors the “Modern Art Awards” totaling more than $5,000.

Back this year is the pedestrian-friendly layout that will close Center St. to cars from 4th to 8th Streets, and fill the Village streets with art and music. On Saturday, watch the chalk fly as teams of talented student artists representing schools from across the region converge for the KeyBank Walk Competition. Watch art being made as they create spectacular murals! Teams will compete for “Arts Are Key” awards, generously sponsored by KeyBank. You get to be the judge for the People’s Choice Award, so be sure to vote for your favorite mural. Judging takes place about 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon.

In keeping with our commitment to foster the development of young artists, College Alley will again feature the work of high school and college students on North and South 5th Streets and provides them with an opportunity to gain exhibiting experience without adhering to the more stringent requirements for professional artists. Don’t miss this chance to start collecting the work of these emerging artists.

In an effort to decrease the environmental impact of the Festival on this historic Village, organizers are stepping up recycling and composting efforts at the event. This year food vendors on the street, as well as Village businesses will be encouraged to use compostable service ware. Plates, napkins, and food waste will be collected and processed into compost in addition to recycling of bottles and cans. Recycling and composting at the Festival have the potential to drastically reduce the amount of waste generated at the event and provide resources to produce new products. Modern Recycling will donate recycling and composting services and Green Team volunteers will encourage and assist Festival goers in the use of this service. "Modern is pleased with the leadership shown by the Lewiston Art Council in moving forward the green initiatives and is excited about the opportunity to take the recycling program to the next level. By composting food related waste, we can help bring back the beauty of nature by creating soil that may help a flower to bloom.", said Katy Duggan-Haas, Modern's Sustainability Coordinator.

To emphasize the theme of recycling and reuse, the Modern ArtZone, a free hands-on art activity area will focus on creating decorative fish from discarded plastic soda bottles. This project will be fun for kids of ALL ages! Sunnking Electronics Recycling is bringing back the ever popular E-bot the robot, who was created with recycled materials from the scrap heap!

Finally, don’t forget to visit the Information Booth at 5th & Center to pick up this years colorful Art Festival t-shirt. T-shirt and brochure design was inspired by artist Gene Kulbago's beautiful stained glass piece, 'Life Giver'. The digital design was modified by Kathryn Serianni of Cataract Printing Company...

Street musicians and performers are welcome to add their musical ambiance to the show but should call the art council to register (716) 754-0166.

Art Festival Sponsors: Modern Recycling, KeyBank, Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Tin Pan Alley, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Arts Niagara Decentralization program via Arts Services Initiative. Special thanks to our friends at the Silo for College Alley space!
Newest Niagara Falls Boutique Hotel

The former United Office Building has been given new life as a luxury boutique hotel and no detail has been overlooked. Now called the Giacomo, as a tribute to one of the owners’ father, this gem of a lodging property is something you would expect to see in San Francisco or another chic metropolitan area. The 1929 structure even has a residential component- 24 apartments that have access to all of the hotels amenities. The Giacomo is within walking distance of Niagara Falls, the Seneca Niagara Casino and other attractions.

Local artist Donna Wojcik has been selected to institute her design talents into the decor of the building.

The bar in the lounge and desk in the reception area have casts of the foyer banister incorporated into their motif. Replicas of the Indian statues on the outer building that welcome you are also present on either side of the fireplace mantle in the front sitting area. Wojcik also created every painting adorning each room. The letter G (for Giacomo) is found somewhere in each piece of artwork. The color scheme and patterns in the wallpaper and paint also tie into the marble in the floor and bring the entire building together as one.

The art deco-themed spacious rooms have high ceilings, large bathrooms, mini refrigerators and some include fireplaces and Jacuzzis. Complimentary extended breakfasts, a fitness center, free Internet access are just some of the amenities available to Giacomo guests. The Giacomo offers butler service and complimentary valet parking for your entire stay. Although you can walk to most destinations around the Giacomo, transportation is included to and from the Buffalo Niagara International and Niagara Falls airports and within a 3-mile radius of the hotel.

For pampering and a restful stay in Niagara Falls, make your reservations at The Giacomo. They are located at 222 First Street, Niagara Falls USA. They can be reached at 716.299.0200 or go online to www.thegiacomo.com .
Fireplace in the Sitting Area
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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