Festivals and recreational events kick off the 190th opening of the Erie Canal


Waterford, N.Y. - The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed up to sponsor 28 events in 2014 to showcase the Canalway Corridor's nationally significant heritage and the tremendous recreational appeal of the waterway and trails today. By working together, the federal and state partners are able to provide financial assistance to more communities and expand the number of sponsored events from 20 in 2013 to 28 this year.


"From large festivals to more intimate events and specialty programs, there are plenty of reasons to head to the waterfront again and again," said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.


"We are thrilled to support community events that celebrate canal heritage and showcase the wonderful culture, food, wine and music that upstate New York has to offer," said Brian Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal
Corporation.  "Governor Cuomo is committed to promoting tourism to bolster our economy and we invite
everyone to experience New York Canals this summer."

Events are a significant contributor to the $380 million in economic impact generated annually by canal-related tourism.  Erie Canalway and NYS Canal Corporation's investment in event sponsorships is expected to be matched nearly 15:1 by local sponsors and attract a half million people. More than 400 events take place each year along New York's canals.

This year's event highlights include: canal opening festivals in Waterford and Brockport; free tours of the canal schooner Lois McClure; Cycling the Erie Canal-an eight day, 400-mile cycling tour from Buffalo to Albany in July; and Canal Splash! in August.

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. www.eriecanalway.org

The New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority, is dedicated to transforming the New York Canal System into a world class destination for recreation and tourism. 


Contact: Jean Mackay, Director of Communications and Outreach

518-237-7000, ext 222