June 15--NIAGARA FALLS -- Two car cruises and free weekly outdoor Zumba sessions are new events and activities on Old Falls Street this summer, in addition to returning ones involving movies and live music.
The cruises, with participation from the Corvette Clubs of Chicago and Buffalo, will be held July 19 and Aug. 16. Both will also include live music, featuring Lance Diamond and Boys of Summer, respectively. For the cruise nights, organizers invite anyone with a classic or custom vehicle to join.
The free "Fitness on Old Falls" sessions, which have been held the past couple of summers and will now involve Zumba, will be held at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday in July and August in the middle block of Old Falls.
"Old Falls Street really serves as the welcome center for residents and visitors alike," said Global Spectrum's Susan Swiatkowski, marketing director of Old Falls Street, USA. "We are proud to host a variety of family-friendly activities throughout the year, all of which have free admission and appeal to all ages." Global Spectrum is contracted by the state to offer programs and activities on Old Falls.
The city and state have heavily invested in infrastructure on Old Falls Street, which has seen a slight resurgence in recent years.
In addition to the $19 million Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, which opened in 2004, $12 million was spent on infrastructure improvements, the final results of which were unveiled four years ago.
Because of the lack of attractions set up downtown, officials have pursued a programming-based effort to attract people to the area.
In terms of this year's schedule, the Old Falls Street Kids' Club returns this year, providing free interactive sessions for children with performers from Young Audiences of Western New York. There will be sessions at noon and 1 p.m. each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in July and August in the middle block of Old Falls.
There also will be a movie night on the street on Thursdays in July and August called "Flicks on Old Falls." Showings will start at 9 p.m. on the street's middle block. Here's the schedule:
-- July 10 -- "Frozen"
-- July 17 -- "Space Jam"
-- July 24 -- "The Lego Movie"
-- July 31 -- "Back to the Future II"
-- Aug. 7 -- "The Goonies"
-- Aug. 14 -- "Man of Steel"
-- Aug. 21 -- "The Wiz"
-- Aug. 28 -- "Ratatouille"
An expanded lecture series will be held this summer, happening at 2 p.m. every Wednesday in July and August in the middle block. In case of inclement weather, the lectures will be held inside the Barnes & Noble store in the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.
A free Friday night concert series will be held on Old Falls Street near Third Street from June 27 through the end of September. Fireworks will follow each concert. All concerts run from 7 to 10 p.m., except for July 4, when two bands will be performing from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and from 8 to 11 p.m.
Other special events scheduled over the summer include the Touch-a-Truck event from 2 to 5 p.m.Aug. 9, as well as the seventh annual Niagara Falls Blues Festival from Sept. 11 to 14. On Sept. 11, a car and motorcycle cruise from Sal Maglie Stadium will be held to kick off the festival. The fifth annual Old Falls Street Oktoberfest will happen from 1 to 8 p.m.Oct. 4.
For the full schedule of events and activities, visit www.fallsstreet.com.
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