Just catching up on the forum and saw your post. I live in Niagara.
The Niagara Festival is cancelled and future unknown. However our local club, the Niagara Windriders run a great festival first weekend in August as part of Canal Days in Port Colborne ( just in case in others are interested).
For copius ampunts of information you could check Trip Advisor for hotel information and sights:http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g154998-i97-Niagara_Falls_Ontario.html
Canadian side is much better for view etc, though there is some good stuff on American side. Cave of Winds is good on American side on Goat Island.
Border crossings are generally easy with not long waits except during some peak travel times. Peace Bridge in Buffalo and Rainbow are usually best bets. Queenston-Lewiston usually has worst line-ups and it seems more direct to Toronto. There are internet sites with wait times, Canadian and U.S. sides.
Hotels with a view are on Canadian side. There is an interactive map to help select athttp://www.niagarafallslive.com/Niagara_Falls_Interactive_Map.htm
As mentioned chicken wings were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. It is a bit of a tourist trap and not necessarily best wings. Can't remember name of place I like but Anchor okay for experience.
Best sights, Maid of Mist, Whitewater Walk, Skylon, helicopter ride, butterfly Coservatory. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint town at mouth of Niagara River with Shaw Theatres. Lots of great wineries in area with restaurants.
Also the Welland canal is nearby where you can see ocean going ships climb the escarpment (which the river drops down at the falls).
Let me know if you need more.