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Canal Fest to kick off 33rd year in Twin Cities

Sat, Jul 18th 2015 10:50 am
An overhead view of Gateway Harbor in the Tonawandas is shown from the Ferris wheel at the 2013 Canal Fest. This year's event takes place from July 19 to 26. (Photo by Jill Keppeler)
An overhead view of Gateway Harbor in the Tonawandas is shown from the Ferris wheel at the 2013 Canal Fest. This year's event takes place from July 19 to 26. (Photo by Jill Keppeler)

By Jill Keppeler

Tribune Editor

The 33rd annual Canal Fest of the Tonawandas will kick off July 19 and run through July 26 with a few new features, a change in midway bracelet pricing and the traditional round of community classics.

Larry Denef, president of Canal Fest Inc., said something a little different for this year's festival will be the Travel Channel "Sand Masters" presenting a live sand-sculpting demonstration from noon to 10 p.m. July 22 on Main Street in the City of Tonawanda.

"They're bringing in 5 tons of sand and doing beach scenes and things like that," he said. "And it's for one day only. Thursday morning, it's all going to be gone."

The event will be presented by VisitErie, an Erie, Pennsylvania, tourism group, to encourage people to visit Erie's beaches.

Denef, in his 21st year as organizer of Canal Fest, also said that a change will take place in the pricing for the midway, presented again by Powers Great American Midways.

Instead of just two pay-one-price days, the bracelets will be available each day the midway is open, from July 20 to 26. Bracelets are $22 and are good on all rides, although the Speed ride may require an additional ticket or two. A percentage of the proceeds from ride tickets will benefit the daily operation of the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda. 

The midway is open 5 to 10 p.m. July 20, 21, 23 and 24; noon to 10 p.m. July 22 and 25 and noon to 9 p.m. July 26.

Concessions run by Twin Cities community organizations are open noon to closing each day.

Denef also noted that the 29th annual Tim-Frank Memorial 4-Miler has moved back to Thursday, with the second vintage fire truck muster moved to the first Sunday of the festival.

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