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Town of Niagara sets bicentennial party; Plans 2-day event for next weekend

The Town of Niagara is throwing a party, and everyone is invited.

In honor of its 200th birthday, the town will host a two-day event beginning Saturday in Veterans Memorial Park that will include shows, concerts, food, entertainment, fireworks and a military flyover.

"The Bicentennial Committee has put in three years of hard work, and it's all coming together June 30 and July 1," Town Supervisor Steven C. Richards told The Buffalo News. "I'm very excited for the town, and I'm very fortunate to be the town supervisor during the town's 200th celebration."

The event will kick off Saturday with a parade at 11 a.m. starting at Fourth Avenue and traveling down Military Road. The weekend will also feature free concerts, a chicken barbecue and a tour of historic homes.

The Town of Niagara Historical Society, caretakers of the 1878 one-room schoolhouse at Lockport and Tuscarora roads, has been organizing several activities to celebrate the bicentennial, including offering two bicentennial scholarships, each worth $500, to graduating high school seniors in the Niagara Wheatfield School District. Application forms, with a deadline of April 1, were made available to students, with the winners to be announced at a future date.

A number of exhibits will be on display during the weekend in the town park center, including the first display of a bicentennial quilt commissioned by the historical society.

Also on display will be a red, white and blue quilt embroidered with the names and branches of service of all Town of Niagara men and women who served in World War II. It was made by town residents in the 1940s.

An heirloom quilt from the Martin Greaser family will also be displayed, along with a fourth quilt, created by Lillian Dubois, who is one of the seniors being honored by the town.

For the kids, there will be clowns, face-painting, balloon creations and a puppet show at 3 p.m. Saturday.

There also will be a basket auction by the Town of Niagara Lioness Club, musical entertainment that includes Pirate Dreams and Shawn Klush, voted the No. 1 Elvis impersonator in the world at a competition in London.

A fireworks display will take place at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

A men's bocce tournament will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by musical entertainment by 90 West between noon and 3 p.m., the Nickel City Reptiles Show at 1:30 p.m. and a tour of historical homes beginning at 2 p.m.

Vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, food and beverages will be available both days, along with beer and wine tents.

A re-enactment of the War of 1812 will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, with a closing ceremony at 5.