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More free family fun

I’ve heard you loud and clear.

You guys wanted me to round up some more free family events, and I am happy to be at your service.

Here’s what’s coming up this week:

• Young Audiences of Western New York is a really awesome local program that hosts a slew of free events around the community to promote creative learning through the arts.

Today, there’s a “Sew-ebration!” workshop with local artist Ani Hoover from 10 a.m. to noon at Canalside, 44 Prime St. Look for the bright orange banner. More workshops will be held at the same time every Monday at Canalside through Aug. 22. Next week is an Erie Canal traveling museum, followed by a collage workshop with local artist Christy Zucarelli Aug. 1.

For more information, visit YAWNY.org/public-programs.

• Canal Fest Talent Show of the Tonawandas. The Canal Fest is always a blast. Check out this local version of TNT’s Got Talent when residents of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda gather to show off their skills singing, dancing, playing instruments and doing stand-up comedy. It takes place at the stage on the canal Friday at noon.

There’s other great stuff going on all week. At 6:30 p.m. Monday is the annual tug of war between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda city officials. Tuesday is the “Charles Fleishman” Canal Fest parade, which starts at 6 p.m. at the corner of Grove and Minerva streets in the City of Tonawanda, and ends at Webster and Goundry streets in North Tonawanda.

At 6 p.m. Thursday is the Diaper Derby, where parents race their babies against one another for fun and prizes. On Saturday, there’s the infamous plastic duck race on the Erie Canal, starting at 3 p.m. at the Delaware Street bridge, and the Sika Challenge Cup boat races, where participants take homemade boats to the Canal between the Delaware Street Bridge and the mouth of Ellicott Creek to see which ones float and which ones sink.

The craft show runs Saturday and Sunday, and the festival ends with a fireworks show Sunday at dusk from the Renaissance Bridge.

For more information, visit Canalfest.org.

• Explore & More Wednesday WOWs at Canalside. The museum holds free children’s events from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday at Canalside through Aug. 31. There are special guests, activities, crafts, performances and games for all ages.

This week is a super cool “Toy Take Apart,” which lets kids reverse engineer old toys and figure out how they work. Next week is a healthy eating activity with a performance by PUSH Physical Theatre.

For more information, visit ExploreAndMore.org.

• The Ultimate Author’s Chair, free Children Stories from Niagara University’s Family Literacy Center.

The college will bring faculty, teachers, librarians, student teachers and local authors to read aloud to children. Kids even get to pick a free book to take home, and will receive other souvenirs from Niagara University. It takes place from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday morning at Canalside near the giant, yellow Adirondack chair. The program runs through Aug. 25. For more information, call 286-8309.

• If you’re up for a drive, Bills training camp starts at 10 a.m. July 30 at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave. in Pittsford. Practices last about two hours and run through Aug. 22. For the full calendar, visit BuffaloBills.com.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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