Festival of Lights to flood Niagara Falls


Niagara Falls, N.Y., is planning to hold its Festival of Lights from Saturday to Jan. 3, when tens of thousands of colored lights, scores of animated displays and continuous entertainment will be presented. Opening night will feature a parade, choral singing and fireworks, leading up to the traditional flipping of the switch that turns on the lights and displays.

The festival, first organized in 1981, now occupies a five-block area of downtown as well as the adjacent state park that includes the brink of Niagara Falls. Outdoor displays include the nine-story-tall Oxylights and a display of moving lights and music on the 180-foot-tall silos of the Nabisco Biscuit Co.

The Carborundum Center and the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center will house animation scenes created by festival volunteers. Another indoor viewing area is the seven-story, glass-enclosed Wintergarden -- a botanical garden decorated with lighting patterns.

Many events are scheduled, starting with opening weekend concerts by the Statler Brothers on Saturday and Victor Borge next Sunday in the Convention and Civic Center. Concert tickets are generally around $18.

The activities will also include an antiques show (Friday to next Sunday), midget car racing (Nov. 27-28), arts and craft show (Nov. 27-29), toy train show (Dec. 4-6), and a basketball challenge (Dec. 13).

All of the festival's displays and light exhibits are free to visitors, except for the animated displays in the Carborundum and Convention Centers, to which admission is $1 a person.

Information: Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, 345 Third St., Suite 101, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14303; (800) 421-5223 or (716) 285-2400.

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