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Brittney Morton, 14, will reign as queen of the Falling Leaves Festival, which gets under way Friday.

The daughter of Richard and Julie Morton was chosen from among 20 students of Salamanca Central High School who entered the competition sponsored by the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association.

Winners were announced after judging Saturday evening in the Ray Evans Seneca Theater on Main Street.

Brittney received the traditional crown, roses and sash, a trophy, $50, free hairstyling and gift certificates.

Runners-up were: first, Kristy Hamacher, 17, daughter of David and Julie Hamacher; second, Kristi Schultz, 17, daughter of Dan and Jani Schultz; third, Katy Herbach, 17, daughter of Mick and Carol Herbach; and fourth, Elizabeth Rychcik, daughter of John and Kathy Rychcik.

Most festival activities are centered in Jefferson Street Park, near Main Street.

For the third year in a row, the festival has been coordinated by Mayor Carmen A. Vecchiarella and his secretary, Tracy Chamberlain.

Vecchiarella said he has high hopes for this year's festival, which continues through Sunday.

"There was an excellent turnout last year, and hopefully this year it will go as well, with good weather and the addition of some new activities," he said.

Food and craft vendors and a flea market will be based at the park, with some craft booths located in Main Street Mall.

Festivities will run from noon to 8 p.m. daily.

Food will include steak sandwiches, sausage, fudge, fried dough, candy apples, pizza, doughnuts, ribs and chili.

Fun City of Buffalo will operate a carnival in Paul Owens Park on Sycamore Avenue. Also featured are animal exhibits, a petting zoo, basketball tournaments at Seneca School, a demonstration by firefighters and police canine units, and a classic car show and parade Sunday.

The Salamanca Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a scarecrow and autumn decorating contest for residents and businesses. Residents also will be holding lawn and garage sales during the weekend.

New this year is a free show by Elvis impersonator Sterling Pollaro of Jamestown at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Jefferson Street Park gazebo.

A schedule of activities:

Friday -- Book sale at the Salamanca Public Library, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; craft and food vendors operate; carnival opens at noon.

Saturday -- Library book sale until 5 p.m.; firefighters' demonstration at 11:30 a.m. on Main Street; Sheriff's department demonstration at noon; festival queen, clowns and carriage rides, in the park at 1 p.m.; dance at the American Legion from 9 p.m. to midnight, featuring the band Fat Brat.

Sunday -- Classic car show, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Quality Farm & Fleet parking lot; parade at 2 p.m. from Simon Bolivar Park on Broad Street to North Main Street.

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