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Niagara County Peach Festival begins Friday with 9/11 memorial

LEWISTON – A somber reminder of 9/11 will be held at the Niagara County Peach Festival begins 5 p.m. Friday in Academy Park.

A remembrance of the tragedy will include members of various Niagara County and Lewiston law enforcement. First responders will serve as color guard and both the American and Canadian national anthems will be performed.

The tone of the festival will change at 6 p.m. as local units representing youth football and All-Star cheering squads compete in the Cheerleading Competition. Judges for the competition are Annmarie Di-Mino-Hepner, Carol Houwart-Diez, Tom Deal, Michael Fiore and Dr. James Klyczek.

Saturday morning 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.

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 thirteen marching bands, an all-time high.

The peach recipe “Taste Off” competition will be a highlight on Saturday. Entrants can win up to $500 in prizes. The finals for the “Taste Off” will be held at 4 p.m. 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’s Ben Tsujimoto and NCCC Board Chairman Jim Ward.

The Peach Blossom and Peach Fuzz contests for the youngsters will be on Saturday and Sunday.

The Dance Showcase featuring ten area dance companies, will take the stage Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

The finale for the Festival, the Peach Queen Pageant, will take place at 8 p.m. Sunday. Sixteen girls from Niagara County will compte for the title of Peach Queen and the $4,000 scholarship awarded by the Kiwanis of 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 2015 Niagara County Peach Festival is sponsored by the Kiwanis of Lewiston, Cerrone Construction, The Buffalo News, WGRZ-TV and Star 102.5 FM.