The Telegram
  • Festivals, recreational events kick off the 190th opening of the Erie Canal

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  • WATERFORD — The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed to sponsor 28 events in 2014 to showcase the Canalway Corridor’s heritage and the recreational appeal of the waterway and trails today. By working together, the federal and state partners will 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, in a news release.
    “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, in the release. “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 contributor to the $380 million in economic impact generated annually by canal-related tourism. Erie Canalway and New York State 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, which are scheduled to open May 1.
    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.
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