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SCHEDULING HITCH CANCELS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS PARADE

The 10th anniversary Festival of Lights parade, planned for Saturday in downtown Niagara Falls, has been canceled because of scheduling complications, but a full array of other festival activities will take place this weekend and next week.

Saturday's parade was called off after out-of-town bands and other marching groups said they would be unable to participate, according to Charles P. Steiner, chairman of the Festival Volunteer Committee.

Today's events include a performance by Cataract Joe, the newly named robot that is the mascot of this year's festival.

The 4-foot tall moving and talking robot, jauntily dressed in formal garb, will perform at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Carborundum Center, 345 Third St. More than 1,000 Western New York residents submitted entries in a contest to find a name for the mechanical man, and the winning entry was submitted by Lawrence Leveson of the Parkway Apartments.

Rob and Carol Allen will present programs of Holiday Magic at 6 p.m. today and at 6 p.m. Monday through next Friday at the Carborundum Center. The Niagara Falls Experience Players will appear at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday and at 7:30 p.m. next Friday and Saturday at the Carborundum Center.

The Grand Island Golden Agers Chorale will perform at 7 p.m. today in Rainbow Centre Factory Outlet Mall, 302 Rainbow Boulevard North.

A public performance of "Harold and the Purple Crayon," presented by the Niagara Council of the Arts Inc., will be among Saturday's attractions. The performance is scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Greek Theater at the Convention and Civic Center, 300 Fourth St.

The Niagara Troop of Telephone Pioneers of America will sing as they stroll through the festival area starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Also on Saturday's schedule are a performance by Kim D'Angelo at 6:30 p.m. in the Wintergarden on Old Falls Street, and guided walking tours beginning at 7 p.m. at the Convention Center.

Sunday's features will include the Dynamics at 6:30 p.m. in the Wintergarden and the Chopin Singing Society at 7 p.m. in the Carborundum Center.

A live Nativity scene will be set up Monday evening along Old Falls Street, appearing nightly through Dec. 23.

Next week's other invents include:

Monday -- 6:30 p.m., The fifth-grade chorus of Harry F. Abate School, the Wintergarden; 8 p.m., the Rainbow Singers, Carborundum Center.

Tuesday -- 7:30 p.m., the Beledi Club entertains, the Wintergarden.

Wednesday -- 7 to 9 p.m., a sampling of sweet desserts and coffee, Eagle's Nest at the Convention Center.

Thursday -- 6:30 p.m., the Johnston Sisters will perform, the Wintergarden; 7 p.m., the Music School of Niagara, Rainbow Centre Factory Outlet Mall, and 7:30 p.m., community night, Carborundum Center.

Next Friday -- 6:30 p.m., Rich Blend musicians, Wintergarden; 7 p.m., Niagara Falls Jazz Band, the Rainbow Centre, and 8 p.m., Readers Theater of Lewiston-Porter, the Wintergarden.

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