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Erie Canal Open

Celebrate the opening of the navigation season with Waterford’s Canal Festival this weekend, May 11, 2013.  Events are all day in and around the Waterford Harbor including music, puppet shows, crafts, boat rides, and kiddie rides.

“This year marks the 189th season of New York’s Canal system, which encompasses the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals,” announced Brian Stratton, Director of the N Y State Canal Corporation. “After nearly two centuries of continuous operation, New York’s canals are still an economic engine and are  ‘open for business’, largely due to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s focus on bringing new economic development and activity to New York State.  We are anticipating, and preparing for, one of our largest years in recent history for commercial shipping on the Canal.  In an average year, somewhere between 8,000 and 12,00 tons of cargo are shipped along the Canal System. However, recent trends indicate a resurgence in commercial utilization of the waterway. For instance, in 2012, a total of 43,022 tons of cargo were shipped on the Canal System, our highest annual total since 1998. Early projections are that over 100,000 tons will be shipped on the Canal System in 2013, which would be the highest total in two decades..”

You and I see the Mohawk River and Erie Canal as a recreational venue and an inspiration for heritage tourism.   This facet of canals generate nearly $380 million annually for the upstate New York economy.

The upcoming canal season will feature many exciting attractions and events including Cycle the Erie Canal, an end-to-end trip along the Canalway Trail, the Mohawk Gateway Canal Festival on July 13, as well as the return of the replica Canal Schooner Lois McClure, which will travel the entire length of the Champlain, Erie, and Oswego Canals.  Perennially popular events like CanalSplash!, Canalfest of the Tonawandas, Fairport Canal Days, Oswego Harborfest, and the Waterford Tugboat Roundup will be back for another season of fun and history.

For more information on the Waterford Canal Festival call the Village office at 518-235-9898.

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