Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 11, 2013

DAVIS: Savor the fall festival season

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Fall is in full swing. Splendor is everywhere as the leaves transition and the world around us transforms before our very eyes. Colorful mums, golden pumpkins, crisp, ruby red apples, the sweet smell of cider and cinnamon ... ahhh! What a wonderful season!

I see the creative work of God the Master Artist everywhere I look and I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:11 —  “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

For over 20 years, our family has made our home in Western New York. There is so much to savor and enjoy here in the fall: Oktoberfest, Pumpkinville, Scarecrow villages, the Niagara Wine Trail, the Discovery Center, the Kenan Center. We have watched the Pumpkin Fiesta at Becker Farms grow into a major event that is celebrated by countless families every year. All four of our sons had their very first pony ride and hay ride at Becker Farms. For many years, it was a regular family event and it harbors a million memories. I still enjoy its charm and beauty to this day.

This past week I attended the kick-off celebration of the Flight of Five Restoration in the Lockport Locks Heritage District. With the children of Emmet Belknap singing, countless leaders and dignitaries speaking, and numerous vendors of the Community Market surrounding the gazebo, it was a wonderful event. The weather could not have been more beautiful. I watched a video showing the planned renovations of the original Erie Canal locks. The plans are simply amazing. 

The restored Flight of Five will be yet another reason to celebrate our history and visit the wonders of Western New York, especially in the fall when everything is a blaze of autumn glory. I will remember this day and reflect on watching the beginning of history in the making.

Several years ago, our eldest son Vincent (who now shares this weekly column with me) sang with the Lockport High School Show Choir, down in the locks beside the Flight of Five, at a ceremony marking restoration of the Heritage District. I stood in almost the same location for that ceremony as for the Flight kickoff, listening as Mayor Michael Tucker declared that the seemingly forgotten district would be transformed.

Now, gone are the broken windows, condemned buildings and rusty forgotten relicts of the past. In its place, there is life: Lake Effect Ice Cream, Sweet Rides, the Discovery Center,  the Flight of Five Winery, Sweet Melody’s and more businesses, tourists and reasons to savor and enjoy our area. A remarkable transformation has taken place in the heart of the city of Lockport.

Another traditional fall festival to enjoy is high school homecoming. Lockport’s Homecoming is this weekend and I am excited for them! I attended a meeting at the high school earlier this week and was delighted to see the halls decorated for Spirit Week. For 11 straight years, we had one or more sons wearing the football uniform of the mighty Lockport Lions. Rain, snow or shine, there is nothing like the moment when the home team takes the field. It’s exhilarating and I wish them the very best.

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.