Niagara USA to serve as host for American Legion Conferenceby jmaloni
The 95th annual state event will generate more than $1 million in revenue for Niagara Falls
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. is getting set to welcome The American Legion Department of New York and its 95th annual conference. More than 2,000 attendees will invade the downtown corridor July 17-19, and generate a total economic impact of $1,152,000 for Niagara Falls.
This is a repeat visit for the group (members were last here in 2007, and previously in 2000), which includes members of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion. During the three-day event, an estimated 2,000 hotel room nights at the Sheraton at the Falls, Comfort Inn "The Pointe," Quality Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn Niagara Falls and Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel will be occupied.
Most of the convention will be held at The Conference & Events Center Niagara Falls, where Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster will open the event Thursday morning. Department Cmdr. Timothy S. Van Patten will be in attendance, along with Department President Sally Johnston. SAL Detachment Commander John J. Knapp Sr. will also be in Niagara Falls.
"Niagara USA is ideal for The American Legion to host their annual conference. We are able to provide their leaders and membership with the necessary amenities and ample entertainment opportunities for the organization to enjoy together," said John Percy, president CEO of NTCC. "We are pleased to, once again, welcome them back and thank them for their service."
In celebration of the convention, The American Legion will conduct a parade starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, departing at Seneca Square and west on Rainbow Boulevard, up Old Falls Street, and ending in front of the Conference & Events Center. The parade will include a color guard and five bands, including the award-winning American Legion Band of the Tonawandas and the Rensselaer Yankee Doodle Band. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Veterans returning from World War I in 1919 formed the American Legion. It is one of the largest organizations promoting and protecting veterans' benefits. The American Legion has 3 million members nationally.