LEWISTON, N.Y. – The Lewiston Village Board could revisit a potential plan to move the Niagara County Peach Festival to ArtPark after this year’s festival concludes on Sunday.
The 62nd annual Peach Festival kicked off in Academy Park Thursday night, just a few weeks after Lewiston’s mayor said she’d want to move the festival in order to make improvements at Academy Park that would apparently make it difficult to continue holding the annual event there.
The Board tabled the vote, which was originally scheduled for mid-August, and said they’d take up the issue again in September.
The Lewiston Kiwanis, which runs the Peach Festival, wants to see it stay, and so did all but one festival attendee News 4 spoke with on opening night.
“I think it would be a big mistake. Everybody knows where to go. Why move it? It’s history. It’s been here years. Keep it here,” said Kevin Wodarczak, an attendee at the festival.
Penny Peete, who was also there Thursday night, said she’d prefer to keep the tradition.
“I’ve been coming here with my kids for over 20 years, and it’s just a great location. Everyone’s really great here, nice village. I just think it would be…not the same,” Peete said.
A third attendee named Jack Frost liked the idea of ArtPark, suggesting the festival could be bigger and hold more rides, but the Chairman of the Peach Festival’s advisory committee says he doesn’t plan on moving,
“We have no intention, number one, of moving,” said Chairman Jerry Wolfgang. “Number two, this is a family event, and this park is situated as a family event and works very well for the Lewiston Kiwanis, and for the Village of Lewiston, and for all the people who come here.”
Wolfgang emphasized he’d hope to work with the mayor on park improvements.
According to the Village website, there is a board meeting work session scheduled for Monday 6:30 during the normally scheduled planning board meeting, but no meeting agenda has been published yet.
As for this year’s festival, Lewiston Kiwanis wants to remind everyone that advance sale ride tickets are available through Friday, and a small number will also be available during Saturday’s parade. Tickets are available at many locations throughout Lewiston, The Town of Niagara, and Niagara Falls as well as at Main Street Pizzeria, Youngstown Gallery, and The Village Diner in Youngstown; Key Bank and Knead the Dough in Ransomville; and Niagara Frontier Publications in Grand Island.