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Where we live: City of Tonawanda

City of Tonawanda

On both sides of the Erie Canal at Gateway Harbor, crowds are expected for the 33rd annual Canal Fest, which runs Sunday through July 26.

Lawrence M. Denef, president of Canal Fest Inc., said an average of 200,000 people visit during the eight-day event.

New this year is a visit from the Sand Masters, world-class artists Rusty Croft and Kirk Rademaker, who have appeared on the Travel Channel for their masterpieces built out of sand. Their work, creating a one-of-a-kind festival-related sculpture, will be featured Wednesday only on Main Street.

The annual parade, one of the largest in Western New York, begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City of Tonawanda and concludes in North Tonawanda. This year’s theme is pirates.

The Twin Cities Car Cruise is starting to outstrip the parade in attendance, Denef said. It will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday. On Friday, there will be a Bike Cruise. An antique fire truck muster will be held on opening day.

The Tim Frank Memorial Four-Mile Run sets off at 7 p.m. Thursday, with registration beginning at 4 p.m. The run was moved to Thursday, from Sunday, to encourage increased attendance.

The Diaper Derby will be back at 6 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Main and Tremont streets in North Tonawanda. According to Denef, 72 babies competed in last year’s derby.

Saturday and Sunday, a craft show will stretch from Main and Broad streets in Tonawanda to Webster and Sweeney streets in North Tonawanda.

A fireworks display will close the festival at dusk on July 26.