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Kiwanis Peach Festival opens today, featuring shortcake, rides, parade

The annual Lewiston Kiwanis Peach Festival, a three-day celebration of Niagara County's fabulous fuzzy fruit, gets under way at 5 p.m. today at Academy Park on Center Street.

The festival, launched in 1958 as a tribute to the farmers of the region, features a farmers' market with plenty of peaches and the event's signature dish -- peach shortcake prepared by the Lewiston Kiwanis Club, with 13,000 pounds of peaches provided by Jim Bittner of Singer Farms in Appleton.

This year's midway will include 40 rides provided by the Canadian National Exhibition, which promises "one of the largest midways in Niagara County."

Activities continue until 11 o'clock tonight and will continue from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

Today's events open with a cheerleading contest at 5 p.m.

Saturday events get under way with a 5k run and one-mile walk at 9 a.m. in front of Key Bank. At 11 a.m. the annual Peach Festival Parade begins on Center Street.

Neptune Water Skiers will perform on the Niagara River at Lewiston Landing at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Entertainment will be offered throughout the weekend and will include Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Contestants will vie for the Peach Blossom, Peach Fuzz and Peach Queen titles throughout the weekend.

Proceeds from the event benefit the community.

"For the past 10 years, $500,000 in goods and services have been contributed to over 50 organizations," said Kiwanis Peach Festival Chairman "Bud" Griffith. He added that since 1958 the Lewiston Kiwanis has donated more than $1 million to area organizations.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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