Former Buffalo Sabre Rob
Ray to Appear at Wildlife Festival
September 9, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEWISTON – The New York Power Authority’s
Niagara Power Project will host the 2004 Wildlife Festival on
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This free family event will take place at the
Power Vista and its surrounding grounds at 5777 Lewiston Rd.
Former Buffalo Sabre Rob Ray, an inspiration on
and off the ice to Western New Yorkers, will be on hand Sunday
afternoon to draw a name from a group of junior division anglers
participating in the Greater Niagara 2004 Fish Odyssey scheduled
Sept. 18 - Sept. 26. The lucky winner will go on a personalized
fishing outing with Ray. (To register, visit
www.fishodyssey.net or call (716) 439-7303.)
The Niagara County Federation of Conservation
Clubs co-sponsors the Wildlife Festival, which is held annually in
recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day. There’s a lot to
discover at this year’s event with more than 60 environmental,
outdoor educators and wildlife rehabilitators from across Western
New York and Canada participating.
“What really draws the crowds to the two-day
festival are the unique and exciting presentations by experienced
and skilled environmental and educational exhibitors,” said Lori
Presti, who coordinates the event for the Power Authority.
Back by popular demand for both days, is the
ever popular Jeff Musial and his “Nickel City Reptiles.” Jeff’s
eye-opening presentations, featuring his slithery and slimy reptile
friends, will entertain audiences with a unique blend of comedy and
Paul Schnell from the Institute for
Environmental Learning, who has participated in the Wildlife
Festival since it began in 1985, will captivate both children and
adults with presentations featuring “Liberty the Bald Eagle” and
other raptors such as a screech owl, peregrine, falcon and red tail
hawk. Also presenting live birds of prey and mammal workshops will
be representatives from Hawk Creek Wildlife Center and Buffalo
For those preferring monkey business, nationally
known Carmen Presti of the Primate Sanctuary will introduce a
variety of new and old world monkeys. The sanctuary’s chimpanzees,
“Charlie” and “Kiko,” are best recognized for appearances on various
television programs including “Animal Planet,” “Amazing Animals,”
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not” and on FOX Sports. Presentations this
year will feature a Japanese Snow Macaque, a Lion Tail Macaque -
both endangered primates - a capuchin and spider monkey, a lemur and
an eight-ounce tuff ear marmoset.
The popular Niagara River Anglers real-life
fishing pond is returning to the festival again this year. Kids
will learn fishing techniques from the club’s members and, for some
kids, the thrill that comes with catching their very first fish.
“The excitement of this annual festival is
clearly catching,” said Paul Jackson, Niagara River Anglers vice
president. “This is an ideal venue to promote sport fishing and
encourage young people to put down their video games and pick up
Also on hand distributing information about
fishing in area waterways will be representatives from the Niagara
Musky Association, Niagara County Sportfishing, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and New York State Department of Environmental
Other participating organizations include the
New York State Parks Interpretive Programs, the Aquarium of Niagara
and the Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council, which will teach
visitors about the variety of plants and birds that inhabit the
area. And Niagara Falls Historian Paul Gromosiak will take visitors
on a journey back in time as he explains the history of the falls.
Buffalo State College Professor Don Birdd,
a.k.a. “Dr. ‘B’ Suited for Science,” will suit up as a tiger beetle
and an armadillo. The combination of large colorful costumes
coupled with dynamic educational science-based presentations
promises a wealth of hands-on learning.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, people of all ages are
invited to participate in a turkey-calling competition sponsored by
the Niagara Falls Thundering Toms. Arnie Jonathan of Quaker Boy
will teach basic turkey calling and safety techniques at 11 a.m.
Calling registration is between noon and 1:30 p.m. followed by the
competition at 2:00 p.m.
Hands-on archery demonstrations will be provided
by the New York State Crossbow Hunters Association and Middleport
Rod and Gun Club. Club members will also demonstrate how soldiers
in the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary War traveled
and carried gear.
Visitors should also enjoy a dog-gone good time
with a variety of canine from Buffalo Greyhound Adoption, Fort Hyde
Kennels and Canine Helpers for the Handicapped. Deputy James
Hildreth, Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, will also showcase
the law enforcement talent of “Ciro,” a highly trained German
shepherd. In addition, the Canadian American Sledders and its
huskies will demonstrate dog-sled race skills.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, the Buffalo Zoomobile will
present six unique live animals for visitors to get up close and
personal. And Safari Club International will donate bird house kits
for children to take home.
Hands-on art activities will be a major theme of
the festival, including wildflower sculpture workshops with Kim
Congi, face painting by Niagara Falls High School art students,
“edible art” with Sandy Candy, and duck woodcarving with Ed Kelly
and Castellani Art Museum.
Hockey and basketball players from Niagara
University along with team mascot “Monte the Eagle” will make an
appearance, as well as representatives of the university’s Education
Department who’ll provide animal storytelling.
Other wildlife festival programs and exhibits
will be provided by such organizations as the New York State Hunter
Education, Niagara County Conservation Council, Niagara County
Trappers, Niagara County Sportsmen, Pheasants Forever and Pioneer
Conservation and SCOPE.
Visitors will also get a chance to learn about
safe operating practices of all-terrain vehicles, as well as gun
safety with Wisor’s Polaris and Project Child Safe.
Niagara Clown Alley entertainers will perform
magic and high energy programs highlighting the importance of
recycling and Glenn Colton will perform two concerts each day of the
There will also be culinary experiences with
Niagara PAL and Lew-Port Sports Boosters selling a variety of dishes
and Boy Scout Troop 855 providing homemade chowder.
The Wildlife Festival is held rain or shine and
admission and parking is free.
For more information call (716)286-6661,
1-866-NYPA-FUN or visit
www.nypa.gov for a complete schedule of activities.