Dean Beltrano is the chairman of this year’s Niagara County Peach Festival. The festival kicks-off tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Dean says the festival is their club’s largest fundraiser and everything they raise goes back into the community and the majority of that goes to help kids.
Their supplier Bittner Singer Orchards has the largest peach orchards in the United States and you’ll find their peaches in things from fruit on the bottom of yogurt to ice cream and he supplies them with enough to get them through the peach festival every year. Dan says they will go through anywhere from four to six tons of peaches so you’re talking eight to twelve thousand pounds of peaches.
This is a non-alcoholic event. They try to keep it family-friendly. On Thursday, Nerds Gone Wild will be performing from 8:00 – 10:00pm. Prior to that is the peach taste-off where they are partnered with the Niagara County Culinary Institute, The Niagara Gazette, Niagara Frontier Publications and anyone can submit a recipe. The judges go through and pick the best ones. If you submitted one and it go chosen, you prepare it on stage on Thursday for the tatste-off. The judges will pick the winners in three categories. This event is followed up on Thursday with the peach shortcake eating contest. The reigning champion for the three years they have actually done this is the Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick.
Dean says the festival started back in 1957/58 as a way to honor the farmers in Niagara County. When they decided to come up with a signature dish, they went with the peach shortcake. He says what they use now is a tea cake from DiCamillo’s Bakery, the peaches come from Bittner/Singer Orchards and they make the cream on the field, so it is fresh-made whipped cream to go with your shortcake.
For more information visit lewistonpeachfestival.com