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Fun at the Roller Rink at Canalside. (Images courtesy of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.)
Fun at the Roller Rink at Canalside. (Images courtesy of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.)

Inaugural season of Roller Rink at Canalside deemed a success


Wed, Oct 27th 2021 10:35 am

One last weekend to enjoy new family-friendly addition to Buffalo’s waterfront

With one final weekend to go in the inaugural season of the Roller Rink at Canalside, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and Buffalo Waterfront Management Group announced the rink has been “a tremendous success.”

The new seasonal attraction, in partnership with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, hosted nearly 10,000 skaters this fall, adding to the diverse offering of low-cost, family-friendly programming available at Canalside. In addition, 3,000 admission tickets were distributed to community organizations and the rink hosted school and nonprofit groups free of charge thanks to the partnership with Highmark and the Wilson Foundation.

“Thousands of people from throughout Buffalo and beyond laced up and rolled this fall at Canalside,” ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. “For some, it was a new challenge, while others hadn’t been up on polyurethane wheels since the ’70s – but all had fun. We’re thrilled with the rink’s success and look forward to bringing it back next fall.”

Canalside General Manager Lauren Moloney Ford said, “The Roller Rink has exceeded our expectations in its inaugural season. The community has truly embraced this program and we look forward to building off this year’s success in future years.”

Before patrons put away their roller skates, there are several events scheduled before the rink closes Oct. 31:

√ Friday, Oct. 29, 6-10 p.m.: Halloween-themed skate night presented by Evans Bank. A DJ will be on-site during the event, and drink specials will be available at The Snack Shack. 

√ Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to noon: free roller-skating lessons by W.A.V.E.’s Mentoring on Wheels and 716 Rollers. Two hours of roving instruction will follow the lesson. 

√ Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to noon: Free goat yoga. This event is sold-out, but stay tuned to Buffalo Waterfront social channels for openings.

√ Saturday, Oct. 30, 5[9 p.m.: “Spookless Halloween” in partnership with the 716 Rollers and Power 96.5. This is an evening of safe Halloween celebrations with a DJ, games and giveaways.

At more than 30,000 square-feet, the Roller Rink at Canalside is the largest outdoor roller-skating rink in New York. Admission is $6 per adult and $2 for children ages 13 and younger. Roller skate rentals are $4. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members receive $1 off admission and skate rentals.

“As the official health plan of Canalside, we want to thank the community for rolling through the summer and fall with us,” said Julie R. Snyder, vice president of community affairs for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “Through the partnership, we were proud to provide access to roller skating and healthy lifestyle education to residents, nonprofits, and schools in our community.”

Marilynn Young, president and founding member of 716 Rollers, said, “The Friday theme nights, Saturday community events and roller-skating lessons along with the collaboration with community organizations like W.A.V.E., 716 Rollers social causes played an important role in the success of the outdoor rink. We are happy to see so many inner-city families, too, and have had opportunities for local DJs to play at Canalside who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.”

ECHDC said, “The Roller Rink at Canalside is a place for families and children of all ages to come and experience a new sport, and a range of fun and affordable programs and activities. The inaugural season offered a healthy and active outdoor environment, at low or no cost, that benefited the Western New York community and allowed children that might not otherwise be able to experience the roller rink an accessible means to do so.”

To learn more about activities and events on the Buffalo waterfront, visit www.buffalowaterfront.com.

For more information on ECHDC, visit https://esd.ny.gov/erie-canal-harbor-development-corporation-0

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