Festivities to include children's activities, food and beverage vendors, musical performances and fireworks presented by Russell Salvatore
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. today announced its schedule for Canalside and the Outer Harbor's Independence Day celebrations, which will take place Saturday, July 4. These free events will feature some of Buffalo's best talent, children's activities, food and a fireworks display, presented by Russell Salvatore, over the Buffalo River. Salvatore arranged the patriotic musical soundtrack that will accompany the fireworks display and also be synched on the MIX 96 FM radio station. The event's rain date is Sunday, July 5.
"Buffalo's Official July 4th Celebration' is expected to attract more than 20,000 people," ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "Choose Canalside or the Outer Harbor - depending on whether you like action or relaxing; both venues give you a great view of the fireworks."
"I am so proud to once again be involved with 'Buffalo's Official July 4th Celebration," Salvatore said. "I love seeing the thousands of faces turned upward as the fireworks blast off and fill the sky with color. To add to the sense of pride we have for our country, I have arranged for some great patriotic music to accompany the fireworks show, so remember to tune your radios to MIX 96 get the full effect. Everyone should put on their red white and blue and plan to make a day of it at Buffalo's waterfront."
There will be a wide variety of live music on the main stage at Canalside, including the following performances:
There also will be children's activities from noon to 6 p.m. at Canalside, the Saturday Artisan Market at The Canals from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and more than a dozen food trucks and vendors in addition to the Dish and the Blue Line. No outside food, beverage or pets will be allowed. Folding chairs and blankets are welcome.
Canalside isn't the only choice for waterfront celebrating on the fourth. The Outer Harbor will have a beer and wine garden offered by Liberty Hound and Great Lakes Brewery at Wilkeson Pointe, which is also a relaxing place to enjoy food, music, paddleboard demonstrations and kayaking. Visitors are welcome to bring a lawn chair, blanket and their own food and beverage for a picnic and make it a day on the Outer Harbor.
For a complete list of activities on the Outer Harbor for the holiday weekend and beyond, visit www.outerharborbuffalo.com.
Buffalo's best fireworks display, which can be viewed from Canalside or the Outer Harbor, starts at 10 p.m. and includes half an hour of the most brilliant explosions of color blasting from 3,400 fireworks shells. The display by Skywriters Fireworks packs an even bigger patriotic punch when one listens to the all-American music being played on MIX 96, programmed to sync with fireworks as they fill the night sky.
The best bet for parking near Canalside is by means of Washington Street or Michigan Avenue; there are hundreds of parking spaces in Cobblestone District, which is only two short blocks away from Canalside. Specifically, check out the lots along Perry Street, as well as the First Niagara Center parking ramp and the HARBORCENTER parking ramp - all of which have handicap accessible parking. (See map here)
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will be operating Metro Rail at full capacity Saturday to transport customers to and from Canalside for July 4 festivities and fireworks.
If you want to be dropped right on the doorstep of Canalside, take advantage of the free parking for approximately 2,000 cars that is available between the University and LaSalle Park & Ride lots.
A staffed ticket booth will be operational at University Station starting at 5:30 p.m. to facilitate the sale of Metro Rail tickets. To help expedite the return trip, it is advised round-trip tickets be purchased to avoid having to wait at a ticket machine to purchase an outbound ticket after the fireworks. Fare and schedule information can be found online.
Metro Rail will operate four-car trains to transport as many people as possible per trip. Trains will depart stations every 15 to 20 minutes depending on the time of day, using a Saturday schedule. The last outbound train is scheduled to depart the Special Events Station at midnight.
Numerous Metro bus routes will serve downtown in the vicinity of Canalside throughout the day. Bus schedules can be found online at nfta.com.
In addition, in anticipation of heavier-than-normal transit usage, the NFTA Transit Police will establish a multiagency unified command center just south of Metro's Special Events Station to provide an increased police presence for transit users.
Free parking at the Outer Harbor will be located along either side of Fuhrmann Boulevard. There is paid parking available at the old Pier site and limited free handicapped parking available at Wilkson Pointe, which is otherwise closed to parking.
There also is the eco-friendly way for getting to Canalside or the Outer Harbor via bike. Be aware though, the Queen City Bike Ferry only runs until 8 p.m. on July 4, so bicyclists will need to utilize Ohio Street after that.
For more information on Canalside, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.