erie-canalway-logo.jpgWaterford, N.Y. - The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission is co-sponsoring four canal-wide events and 28 community-based events in 2012 to showcase the distinctive historic, cultural, and recreational resources of the canal corridor. Events sponsored include free concerts, boat races and tours, historic re-enactments, and lots of family fun. Events are a significant contributor to the $380 million in economic impact generated annually by canal-related tourism. More than 700 events and festivals will take place in the National Heritage Corridor this year-more than 400 events and programs are scheduled at Buffalo's Erie Canal Harbor alone. "From large festivals to more intimate events and specialty programs, there are plenty of reasons to head to the waterfront again and again," said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, encompassing the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities. Partnerships with the New York State Canal Corporation, Parks & Trails New York, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Western Erie Canal Alliance, and community partners are essential to the success of these events. Canal-wide Events May 19-20: Heritage Weekend 2012 Celebrate New York's incredible heritage at one of the many venues offering special programs, tours, free admission, discounts and more.   July 8-15: Cycling the Erie Canal Join 500 riders of all ages and from all over the country for this 8-day, 400-mile bike tour across New York State, organized by Parks and Trails New York. August 10-12: Canal Splash Guided walks, bikes and cruises, museum and gallery exhibits, canoe and kayak paddles, canalside festivals, performances and more are offered throughout the Corridor to celebrate the history, culture, and recreational appeal of the NYS Canal System. June-October: Canal Schooner Lois McClure 2012 Tour 1812: Commemorating the War, Celebrating the Peace This year's epic journey celebrates our international waterway connections with Canada. Canal Schooner Lois McClure will travel a counter clockwise circular route from Lake Champlain north and west through Canada's canals and waterways to Lake Ontario, and then through the Oswego Canal, eastern Erie Canal, and Champlain Canal. We anticipate Lois McClure reaching Oswego by September. The vessel will be scheduling school programs once its itinerary is set. Stay tuned for full details. COMMUNITY EVENTS MAYME 5/5 Erie Canal Song Contest and Key to the Locks Award Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport Mark the beginning of the Erie Canal season at the Key to the Locks Award ceremony, with musical performances by finalists in the annual Erie Canal Song Contest. 5/12 CanalFest Waterford Harbor Visitor's Center at Lock 2, Waterford Celebrate the opening of New York's canal system for the 2012 season with live entertainment, craft and food vendors, and canal exhibits along Waterford's historic waterfront. 5/19 - 5/20 New York Heritage Weekend North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda Erie Canal history and family-friendly activities at the museum are part of NY Heritage Weekend. or 5/19- 5/20 Spencerport Heritage Weekend Village Canalside Gazebo & Spencerport Depot and Canal Museum, Spencerport Celebrate Spencerport's place on the Erie Canal during this two day event featuring concerts at the village gazebo, historical workshops and demonstrations, and art show. 5/19 - 10/10 Wm. Phelps General Store & Home 35th Anniversary Historic Palmyra, Village of Palmyra Historic Palymra invites you to celebrate 35 years of the Wm. Phelps General Store and Home as a museum with events and activities throughout the season. Contact the museum for a full schedule. 5/24 - 5/30 Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day Village of Waterloo Commemorate Memorial Day in the Village of Waterloo, the birthplace of Memorial Day, with a variety of family friendly activities: Civil War living history, arts and crafts show, family entertainment, 5k race, culinary tent, and classic, antique, and Woodie car show. JUNE 6/15 - 6/17 Buffalo River Fest Buffalo Riverfest Park, Buffalo Family-oriented event includes a river regatta, historic waterfront walking tours, kids' area, maritime display, waterfront memorabilia displays, softball tournament, tugboat tours, arts show, local vendors, live music, and refreshments - all on the scenic Buffalo River! 6/15 - 6/17 Doors Open Niagara Weekend at the North Tonawanda History Museum North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda Erie Canal history and family-friendly activities at the museum are on tap during Doors Open Niagara Weekend, a bi-national event focusing on buildings and architecture of the 19th century and the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. or   6/16 Re-Discover Amherst Street Day & Our Lady of Black Rock School Strawberry Festival Amherst Street, Buffalo Enjoy family fun activities, art shows, live music, and fresh, canal boat-shaped homemade strawberry shortcakes. 6/17 Chittenango on the Grand Ole Erie Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango Celebrate the village's bicentennial and its connection to the Erie Canal with period music, demonstrations, children's games and family-style chicken barbeque. JULY Music on the Erie 7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27 and 8/3, 8/10, 8/17, 8/24, 8/31 T. Knight Spencer Park, Newark Visit the Newark Canal Port on Friday evenings to enjoy free live entertainment brought to you by the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce. 7/14 - 7/15  2012 Canal Days Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, Fort Hunter Join us for some old fashioned fun with live music, food, engine show, lots of history and archaeology exhibits, displays and demonstrations. 7/21 (Tentative) Erie Canal Museum 50th Anniversary Canal Community Carnival Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse Head to Downtown Syracuse to celebrate the Erie Canal Museum's 50th Anniversary at the Canal Community Carnival! The event features crafts, music, storytelling, bike parades, and more. 2012 Lockport Community Market 7/21, 7/28 & 8/2, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25 Canal Street, Lockport Located on Historic Canal Street in downtown Lockport, this open air market features local merchants, crafters and artisans, fresh produce, local wineries, live entertainment, educational demonstrations, and much more. 7/15 - 7/22  Canal Fest of the Tonawandas North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda Erie Canal history and family-friendly activities are on tap during one of the largest celebrations along the canal. Weeklong festivities are jam-packed with fun, recreation, and live entertainment. or 7/26 - 7/29 Oswego Harborfest Various locations in Oswego, Oswego One of the largest festivals along the canal welcomes you to four days of free live music and entertainment, nautical events, family activities and crafts, midway, and a spectacular fireworks display. AUGUST 8/4 Cayuga Village Waterfront Festival Harris Park, Village of Cayuga Full day of family entertainment including: children's fishing derby, boat parade on Cayuga Lake, live music, craft vendors, Farmer's Market, sampling of local food and wines, and concluding with a gigantic fireworks display over Cayuga Lake. Easily accessed by the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. 8/4 Riverlink Jamboree Riverlink Park, Amsterdam All day romp featuring bluegrass, old-timey and traditional music at Riverlink Park on the picturesque and historic Mohawk River. 8/11 Medina Canal Heritage Day Village of Medina Come share a wonderful day by the Erie Canal in Medina, featuring artisans, vendors, musical entertainment, model boats demonstrations and a beautiful concert by the canal, as well as a great Taste of Medina competition. 8/11 Towpath Day Camillus Erie Canal Park, Camillus This year's festival -A Salute to the Irish- honors Irish-American contributions to canal history with Irish dancing, blue grass music, storytelling, and games for children. Crafters, demonstrations, boat and wagon rides. 8/11 (8/12 rain date) Hudson Crossing Park 8th Cardboard Boat Races Fort Hardy Park, Schuylerville Hudson Crossing Park Inc. Come experience the Hudson Crossing Park Cardboard Boat Races - as a "sailor" or spectator - it's a day to remember!   8/3 - 8/5 Rome Rotary Canalfest '12 Bellamy Harbor Park, Rome Honor America Day's Annual Canalfest features area food, music, art and history and a wide variety of Canalway activities including a fishing derby, biathlon, dog show, boat races, waterskiing show, rides, fireworks and good old-fashioned fun for all ages. 8/6 - 8/12  25th Little Falls Canal Celebration Little Falls Community-wide programs and events include: canoe/kayak races, fishing derbies, historic tours, lectures, live entertainment, foot races, boat tours, ethnic foods, farmers market, spectacular fireworks and more. Cultural Festival on the Canal August TBA Waterford Harbor Visitor's Center at Lock 2, Waterford Free, family-friendly event celebrates the rich cultural roots of those who built the Erie Canal and made Waterford their home. Ethnic foods, crafts, performing arts, and more. SEPTEMBER 9/7-9/9 Waterford Tugboat Round-up Waterford Harbor Visitor's Center at Lock 2, Waterford Tugboats new and old converge on the waterfront to celebrate the maritime industrial heritage of the New York State Canal System and other adjoining inland waterways. Festival features live entertainment, vendors, boat rides, and more. 9/8 - 9/9 Shaker Fall Harvest Craft Fair Shaker Heritage Society, Albany Craft fair featuring over 80 local craft artisans, family activities, and guided tours of America's first Shaker settlement. OCTOBER 10/6 Canalway Currents of Change Camp Fitz-John Porter, Rochester Celebrate heritage during River Romance Weekend as the Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood hosts canal enthusiasts, Civil War buffs, and city residents to celebrate their connection to the Erie Canal, Underground Railroad, and Camp Fitz-John Porter, a 150 year old Civil War encampment. 10/27 187th Anniversary of the Opening of the Erie Canal and Erie Canal Student Art Contest Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport Annual event celebrates the amazing milestone of the opening of the Erie Canal, complete with firing of muskets and official speeches with area actors portraying notable canal figures. Student art contest is open to local elementary, middle, and high school students.

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