New York By Rail 14th ed. - Page 82

2017 in new York State a Year of Milestones There is always an amazing array of things to see and do in New York State, but 2017 offers the opportunity to celebrate a number of once-in- a-lifetime milestones, making it an exciting year for locals and visitors alike. Meeting costumed interpreters, testing your skills at hands-on exhibits and taking part in historic re-enactments are just a few of the special activities that will help bring the Empire State’s storied history to life. Among the most notable anniversaries are the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, the 100 th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York, the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I and the 150 th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth. Here’s a sampling of the special celebrations this year… 200th Anniversary Bicentennial M eet a mule named Sal on the Erie Canal: This summer marks the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. An engineering marvel for its time, the canal project created a super highway from New York City to the developing American West and stimulated trade, exploration and invention. The canal system forms an inland waterway spanning upstate New York, flowing past nearly 200 villages, hamlets and towns. Today, the canals mostly serve recreational ships, from fishing skiffs and kayaks to historic canal boats, and the barge-towing mules that once trod the canal-side trails have been replaced by walkers, bicyclists and, in winter, cross-country skiers on the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail, spanning from Albany to Buffalo. The towns established along the canals continue to blossom with annual festivals, living history re-enactments and hands-on museums that celebrate the canal’s bicentennial and the region’s rich past: Ceremonial opening of the erie Canal navigation Season for 2017 occurs in Waterford Harbor—eastern gateway to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor—on May 19th. waterford Canal Festival is celebrated on May 20th, with vendors lining the banks of the Erie Canal and attendees enjoying live music, dance performances, children’s activities, kayaking, educational walks and presentations. For the latest information on events and destinations, check out www.iloveny. com/milestones. Seneca Falls Canal Fest, July 7-9 at Seneca Falls Canal Harbor in the Finger Lakes, highlights the beauty of the Cayuga/Seneca Canal with three days of fun on the water. Along with Aquacade and the popular Duck Races, the Corning Museum Glass Barge will be canal-side for the entire festival, honoring the centennial of women’s suffrage with an all-female glassblowing team. 80 | 2017 in new york: A yeAr of milestones Ceremonial erie Canal Bicentennial Groundbreaking Celebration at Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome on July 22. The all-day event at the starting point for construction of the original 363-mile canal system will feature a first-dig re-enactment, an arts and crafts fair, concerts and fireworks.