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A colorful parade of boats and a "Grande Olde Erie Canal Festival" are among the program highlights this weekend as the annual Erie Barge Canalfest gets under way in the city Saturday.

The event, marking the 1989 official opening of the historic waterway to recreational boaters, attracts thousands of visitors to the community during the summer.

Highlights of programs, mostly staged at the Canal Locks and Widewaters Marina, are:

Boat parade, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; re-enactment encampment, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring 50 persons who will depict life in Western New York during the Revolutionary War era; folk-art craft show, noon to 5 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday; musical entertainments, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday; hayrides, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and tree-garden plantings and dedication, 2 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The festival is sponsored by the Lockport Canal Spotlight '89 Committee. Chairmen are Mary Brennan-Taylor and the Reid Petroleum Corp.

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