NIAGARA FALLS – The Maid of the Mist will launch on Saturday, the earliest opening date in the company's 132-year history.
The opening, at 9 a.m. Saturday, will break – by one day – a record set just last year.
Then, the Maid of the Mist opened on April 2.
The Maid’s average opening date, dating back to 1948, has been May 8.
But, that date is creeping earlier. Over the 10 years ending in 2016, the average opening date was April 22.
The Maid of the Mist's season runs through Nov. 5.
The Maid of the Mist VI and the Maid of the Mist VII boats launch from Niagara Falls State Park and take passengers for close-up views of the Falls.
The Maid's competition, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, also plans to open for the 2017 season on Saturday, weather permitting.
Its boats launch from Niagara Falls, Ont., near the foot of Clifton Hill.