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Will Niagara Falls become a winter wonderland?

   In March, Ellicottville native and Idaho developer Mark Rivers revealed his plans to make downtown Niagara Falls a winter tourism haven, complete with a strip of speciality international and regional vendors.

    Rivers has been busy securing vendors and marketing the festival, but not without questions from City Council Chairman Sam Fruscione.   LOCAL_WEATHER_1343576

    Last week, Rivers revealed more specific plans for the market, including:

    --A food and wine festival sponsored by Wegmans from Dec. 16-18 that would include tastings, workshops, cooking demonstrations and celebrity chef appearances.

    --What is being billed as Western New York's largest Christmas tree, with a Rockefeller Center-style lighting ceremony to be broadcast on local television.

    --WNY's largest holiday ice rink, which would feature two events with former Buffalo Sabres Gilbert Perreault and Michael Peca and public ice skating.

    --A Winter Wonderland in Niagara Falls State Park, complete with horse-drawn sleigh rides, show shoeing, cross-country skiing, an ice sculpture competition and a snowman contest.

    --A Santa's Workshop for children to meet and take photos with Santa Claus.

    Those plans are in addition to a concert series which would include the Canadian Tenors, Aaron Neville, Elisabeth Von Trapp and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

    Rivers was criticized after for providing an initial report that was two pages long and devoid of many details. This time, he's provided a longer report with pictures, descriptions and some additional sponsors. 

    You can read that full report here, and can listen to Rivers' comments in today's Buffalo News here

     What do you think about the proposed Niagara Holiday Market? Will it be a success or will it flop like so many other Niagara Falls development plans?

    -News Niagara Reporter Charlie Specht

    E-mail me at, call me at 849-4046 or follow me on Twitter. For coverage of government, politics, development and community life in the Falls, click here.  

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