Cuomo's vision for Buffalo's waterfront spurs 800 events and activities; expected to attract 800,000 visitors
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. today launched its 2013 season of summer programming at Canalside and debuted www.canalsidebuffalo.com, a mobile-friendly events calendar. An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Canalside.
This year, Canalside will host more than 800 events and activities presented by 108 local individuals and organizations. It is expected that the programming will attract 800,000 visitors to Buffalo's waterfront. New offerings this year include "Canalside Food Fight" - a series of food truck competitions; a games and leisure component featuring an outdoor reading room and games, such as badminton and other lawn/board games, as well as pool, ping pong and foosball in The Ruins; and "A Celebration of Music" with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Friends. Old favorites returning with expanded programming include Explore and More Children's Museum, Young Audiences of WNY and the African American Cultural Center. Also back for 2013 are the Saturday Artisan Market, Music at the Ruins and fitness programs, such as yoga, tai chi and Zumba.
"With more visitors than ever discovering the unique experience of our waterfront, the growth we're seeing at Canalside is unprecedented," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. "This year Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. continues to offer a diverse selection of activities with nearly a 100 percent increase in programming and events over the 2012 season. Under Gov/ Cuomo's leadership, Buffalo's waterfront is flourishing and ECHDC continues to build upon its success."
In conjunction with today's launch, ECHDC is debuting www.canalsidebuffalo.com, which is an easily accessible events calendar that is mobile and tablet responsive. The site includes a calendar of events, directions to the site, parking information, site amenities and a link to www.eriecanalharbor.com. The site is in response to the feedback ECHDC received from the public regarding the need for a mobile events calendar.
"By launching this mobile website we are reaching out to a market in Western New York that is increasingly mobile and on the go," said ECHDC President Thomas Dee. "We feel this site will significantly assist in boosting visitors to Canalside and, in turn, attract the critical mass and private investment that ECHDC is striving for. I am confident that the mobile-ready website will be a huge help in improving the visitor experience at Canalside."
Saturday's Canalside open house will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with nearly 40 scheduled programmers to appear, as well as several short, signature performances. Featured events include the "Canalside Food Fight," the first in a series of four mobile food competitions; Treehouse Lawn Jart Tournament; and a feature performance by members of the BPO.
All events and appearances run from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. For more information on the open house, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.
Congressman Brian Higgins said, "With each passing year it gets more and more difficult to count the numbers of events that are planned for Canalside. But just a few short years ago, counting the number of events wasn't difficult: there were none. Thanks to the historic 2005-06 NYPA settlement, the public's demand for more and better access to our region's waterfront has resulted in a vibrancy and energy along our inner harbor not seen for decades. From the festivals and concerts to the hundreds of family-friendly activities planned for this summer, Canalside will continue to grow and expand in the months and years to come, drawing thousands more to downtown Buffalo to experience all that there is to enjoy about summer in Buffalo, N.Y."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "The progress and growth we're seeing in the Canalside area continues the great momentum on Buffalo's waterfront. I want to thank Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Duffy for their continued commitment to Buffalo and the waterfront. The record number of people that are projected to visit the Canalside area is another visible sign of progress and increased public access on our waterfront, spurring more investment and job opportunities."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "Creative and innovative programs and attractions at Canalside this year will bring thousands of new visitors to enjoy food, music, cultural programs and fun for the whole family. I encourage everyone to check out the Canalside website, which makes it easy to browse the events and get more information, and then come to Canalside often in the coming months."
State Sen. Mark Grisanti said, "It is exciting to see over 800 events come to Canalside this season. I encourage everyone from the Western New York region and Canada to come down and visit Canalside to check out these many different events."
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "It is exciting to see that Canalside is ready to go with another summer filled with great events. Gov. Cuomo's continued push for progress along our waterfront is paying dividends, to the benefit of Buffalo and all of Western New York. Tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy this progress all summer long with numerous events and experiences. With the completion of HARBORCenter and the canal park projects right around the corner, I am looking forward to the many year-round activities that will contribute to the excitement of Canalside."
Highlights of the 2013 Programming and Events Season include:
▪June 2: Pride Festival
▪June 15: Pop Up Park Playground
▪July 4: July 4th Celebration
▪July 5: Arrival of the Schooner Lois McClure
▪July 13-14: Celebration of Music with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Friends
▪Aug. 17: The Color Run
▪Aug. 18: Clutch Artists Autorama
▪Aug. 21: Squeaky Wheel's Outdoor Animation Festival
▪Aug. 23-25: Buffalo Irish Festival
▪Sept. 13-15: Tall Ships Festival
As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the outer harbor to attract critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York's waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region's legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.