150926 Wildlife Festival 5

JAMES NEISS / staff photographer

Scott Collins of Lockport takes a closer look at the Department of Environmental Conservation exhibits at the New York State Power Authority’s Wildlife Festival at the Power Vista in 2015.

LEWISTON — New York Power Authority’s annual Wildlife Festival will be held this weekend at the Niagara Power Vista.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, with free admission and parking. Cosponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs, this year’s festival is held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

“We’re excited to be bringing it back to its normal size,” said Lou Paonessa, NYPA director of community affairs. “We were affected by the pandemic for a couple of years.”

The festival features various conservation clubs, animal handlers and outdoor activities.

“It’s to help spread the word about hunting, fishing, outdoor sports, and conservation,” Paonessa said. “It’s a chance for all organizations to come out and educate the public.”

Returning exhibitors include Jeff Musial and Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics, Carmen Presti and his primate sanctuary and the Skyhunters Birds of Prey. The Tuscarora Tent features the Niagara River Iroquois Dancers and activities highlighting Tuscarora culture.

New exhibitors include the Lockport-based Challenger Center of Orleans Niagara Erie, which is bringing a mobile planetarium for realistic views of stars moving across the night sky. Another astronomy exhibit will promote the Buffalo-Niagara region as one of the best viewing sites for the solar eclipse in 2024.

Inside the Power Vista, exhibits involving Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, the Van De Graaff generator, and the Power Up 4D simulator are accessible.

Discover Niagara shuttles will provide free rides to the festival from other area sites including Lewiston, where the Harvest and Hops Festival is taking place at the same time.

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