Festivals and Recreational Events Kick Off Bicentennial Celebrations and Opening of the New York State Canal System

Men and women sitting on ground and chairs while watching a night concert.
Visitors enjoying the Amsterdam Riverlink Park concert.

Image by Phil Scalia with permission from Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed up to sponsor 27 festivals and events in 2017 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.

“We are proud to partner with communities and organizations to celebrate the bicentennial of canal construction and ensure a lively and fun season along the canal,” 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 the canal.”

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 18:1 by local sponsors and attract a projected 88,000 people. Sponsored events are just a few of the more than 400 events that take place each year along New York’s canals.

“We are pleased to support a spectacular season of local events during this special canal bicentennial year,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “The world-class festivals and sporting events held on the canals attract thousands of visitors to upstate New York and are a boon to local economies. From mariners and cyclists, to food and wine enthusiasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy this season as we celebrate nearly 200 years on our New York State Canals.”

This year’s event highlights include: Pedal-Paddle-Run in Niskayuna in May, Bicentennial Bash at Chittenango Canal Boat Museum in June, Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Water Music in July, Erie Canal Bicentennial Celebration in Rome on July 22, the 13th Annual Cardboard Boat Race in Schuylerville in August, and the Tugboat Roundup in Waterford in September.

Visit www.eriecanalway.org/explore for events.