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Rally, triathlon highlight weekend

A popular motorcycle rally Friday night kicked off a weekend of festivities for this quaint lakeside town, including a farmers' market and wine festival scheduled for today, as well as a triathlon also planned for this morning in Wilson-Tuscarora State Park.

The annual Wilson Motorcycle Rally and other events in past years have routinely drawn hundreds of visitors from Western New York and Canada for the weekend.

Today, preparations get under way at dawn for Wilson's Wet and Wild Triathlon scheduled for Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, which will benefit the Wilson Volunteer Fire Company and Watch Wilson Grow.

"This is our 10th anniversary, making this the oldest triathlon in Western New York, said Dan Horan, who runs the race with his wife, Anne.

Registration will be held from 6 to 8 a.m., with the race starting at 9 a.m. It includes a 600-meter swim in Lake Ontario, a 20-mile bike race and 5K run on park trails. Awards are given to the top three finishers in each age group. Each participant receives a moisture-wicking T-shirt and full dinner. Also, relay teams are encouraged to enter. The cost is $75.

There is also a children's triathlon at 11:30 a.m. for those ages 13 and under, which includes a 50-meter swim, a 1.5-mile bike race and half-mile run. The fee is $18, and each participant receives a T-shirt, medal and dinner. This race is sponsored by Wilson resident Robert Hartz, owner of Master Guru, a game company.

"We had record numbers last year because the town really stepped up and helped to support us and those efforts paid off," said Dan Horan. He also said that in honor of Hartz, who is a 1986 graduate of Wilson High School, a special discount entry fee of $19.86 will be offered to all 1986 Wilson graduates on the 25th anniversary of their graduation.

Also, from noon to 5 p.m. today, a Farmers' Market and Wine Festival will take place on Young Street. The event is sponsored by Watch Wilson Grow, a nonprofit organization established by longtime residents interested in bettering their community.

This is the fourth year for the event, according to founder Kim Wisor. "We'll have around 50 vendors, including five wineries from the Niagara Wine Trail," she said. "We'll also have a farmers' market, local artists, music and restaurants participating."

The event also includes a Kids' Corner, which will feature Wild Kritters, a local animal rescue and rehabilitation group.

The event is free, but a wine glass may be purchased for $10 for wine tastings. The event benefits Watch Wilson Grow, which hopes to use some of the proceeds to purchase new trees for Young Street.