WATERFORD, NY- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed up to sponsor 36 festivals and events in 2018 to showcase the Canalway Corridor’s nationally significant heritage and the tremendous recreational appeal of the waterway and Canalway Trail today. Events include cycling and paddling tours, canal festivals, and concerts on the waterfront.
The Erie Canal from Waterford to Brewerton is scheduled to open May 15, weather permitting, with an opening ceremony to take place at Lock 2 in Waterford at 10am. The remainder of the canal system will open on May 18.
“We are proud to partner with communities and organizations to celebrate our canal heritage and ensure a lively and fun season along the waterway,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “Starting in May and going right through the fall, these events offer great ways for people to explore and enjoy our legendary canal system.”
This year’s event highlights include: the 20th Anniversary of Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour, organized by Parks & Trails New York, and the cross canal journey of the Corning Museum of Glass GlassBarge traveling with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s canal schooner Lois McClure.
Since its grand opening in 1825, New York’s canals have been enlarged three times to accommodate larger boats and more traffic. The most recent enlargement was completed 100 years ago in 1918. A ceremony and canal tour to commemorate the 100th anniversary takes place on May 10 in Rochester.
“Before we know it, the warm weather will be here to stay and another season along the New York State Canal System will kick into high gear,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Barge Canal’s opening in 1918, we’ll have even more reasons residents and visitors alike should get out and explore our iconic waterway and experience the welcoming spirit in the more than 230 upstate communities our canals pass through.”
Visit www.eriecanalway.org/explore events for events sponsored or see attached for a list. Erie Canalway and NYS Canal Corporation sponsored events are among the more than 400 events and festivals that take place in communities along the canal each year.
The NYS Canal System includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning more than 500 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. The 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail from Albany to Buffalo, much of it along the canal’s former towpath. Together the canals and trail create a world-class recreationway that is a vibrant, scenic and unique New York resource.
ABOUT THE ERIE CANALWAY
Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York. www.eriecanalway.org
ABOUT THE NEW YORK STATE CANAL CORPORATION
The New York State Canal System is owned and operated by the New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority. For current information, a full calendar of events, and up-to-date Notices to Mariners, visit www.canals.ny.gov.