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Canalside shows off new boardwalk, announces wide range of summer events

Canalside is cranking up for what could be its busiest summer yet.

Officials on Friday announced a wide array of daily activities and programs to go with dozens of special events. The announcement was made from a new, $2.2 million wooden boardwalk that replaces an asphalt path installed in 2011, with a permanent railing replacing a temporary chain-link fence. Nearby was the children’s beach area that has been expanded by 30 percent, and includes umbrella stands.

“Canalside visitors tell us they love having things to do on the waterfront, and I can guarantee that is exactly what we have planned for the 2016 summer season,” Erie Canal Harbor President Thomas Dee said. “We have a vast a variety of activities every day for every age group.”

Among the highlights are a three-day Canalside Boardwalk Carnival on Memorial Day weekend, Pride Festival on June 5, “Kiss the Summer Hello” concert on June 19 and the official Independence Day Celebration on July 4.

There will also be a Gospel Festival on July 24, a two-day Ribfest on July 29 and July 30, the Autorama Car Show on Aug. 14 and the Buffalo Maritime Festival on Aug. 26 to 28.

Another highlight is the Buffalo Roots Series, a celebration over five evenings of Buffalo’s diverse cultures. There will be music and dance performances and workshops, along with a wide array of cultural foods and cultural arts and crafts vendors.

There will also be weekend art classes and numerous fitness programs, along with a variety of concerts and other happenings this summer.

Funding was provided by the New York Power Authority in support of its operating license for the Niagara Power Project.

Food service returns with the Clinton’s Dish food stand and Bubbles and Brew, Harborside Mercantile and Tipico coffee at Canalside Pavilion.

Earlier, the waterfront agency’s board of directors approved $254,000 for pre-construction and $9 million for construction of the Explore & More Children’s Museum.

LeChase Construction Services, which is headquartered in Rochester and has six other upstate offices, was chosen over four companies that also submitted bids.

Pre-construction is expected to begin in June on the South Aud block, with groundbreaking for the five-level msueum, including an outdoor terrace, planned for March 2017, with completion by June 1, 2018.