By Mike Pidanick
Don't look now, but Canal Fest is right around the corner.
The North Tonawanda Common Council, at Tuesday's bimonthly meeting at City Hall, unanimously approved an agreement between the city of NT and the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas for Canal Fest 2016, as well as a proposal to grant permission to hold the 34th annual festival from July 17-24.
"I'm glad to see everyone working together with Tonawanda, trying to make what is arguably the best fundraiser between the twin cities that there is and keep that going," Alderman Eric Zadzilka said. "I, along with my colleagues here, want to see this be continually successful every year. We will continue to help in any way we can to keep the success."
The votes, of course, were a formality for one of the area's most popular events. Among those on hand was Canal Fest president Peter Chenier Jr.
"On behalf of the Canal Fest organization, I just wanted to say thank you for supporting us once again for this year's event," Chenier said during the audience participation portion of the meeting.
Several board members took time to take notice of the efforts of Chenier and the rest of the Canal Fest committee.
"The public sees all the fun, they see all the good parts," City of North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said. "Very rarely do they see what goes on in the background with all the planning. When one closes down, the next day they start planning for the next one."
There were several upcoming activities on Tuesday's agenda. The board also approved St. Mark Episcopal Church's annual "St. Mark's, Get Set, Go" 5K race on Oct. 15 as well as the "Full Throttle Festival" on Oct. 1.
"One thing you notice every couple weeks when we have these, the great deal of approvals of things going on in North Tonawanda," Alderman-at-large Robert Pecoraro said. "I encourage you all to take advantage of those opportunities. North Tonawanda, proudly so, is becoming a true destination to a lot of people in Western New York."
The council also approved a supplemental agreement on the $2.7 million Durkee Memorial Bridge project as well as the appointment of Mary Kate Fonzi to the Environmental Committee.