Tag Archives: New York State tourism

Reservations Being Accepted for Glamping on New York’s Champlain Canal

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

Glamping Sites May Be Reserved Here

Reservations are now being accepted for a glamping experience on the Champlain Canal that will attract visitors to the State’s historic upper Hudson Valley and boost the local economy that is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

“This overnight destination combines an exceptional camping experience with opportunities to see and visit the vibrant and rich canalside landscape in entirely new ways, embodying the mission of the entire Reimagine the Canals program,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “By investing in long-overlooked sites along the State’s Canals, we will showcase the very best of our State to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, preserving the rich history of the Canal system while stimulating local economies at a time when they most need it.”

Individuals and families can rent safari style pre-pitched tents that are each furnished with a Queen-size bed featuring a memory foam mattress, side tables with solar lights, pillows, linens, extra blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies. Additional amenities that can be found at the campsite include fire pits, a picnic-and-grill area, hammocks, a supply store, cell phone charging station, bathroom and shower facilities, and games such as cornhole.

The glamping site, nestled along the banks of the Champlain Canal and Hudson River, is adjacent to Lock C-5 and the Empire State Trail and is within walking distance to neighboring Hudson Crossing Park and downtown Schuylerville. Campers will have easy access to a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and to many dining, shopping, and entertainment venues such as cruising aboard the Caldwell Belle or visiting the nearby Saratoga National Historical Park.

“Camp Rockway offers families, groups and couples an opportunity to enjoy the Champlain Canal, while still preserving and celebrating the Canal’s historic impact. New Yorkers can safely connect with nature, and each other, while also supporting the economies of canalside communities,” New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said. T”his is all thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision to Reimagine the Canals into a tourist and recreation destination, breathing new life into one of the State’s greatest assets while supporting a more resilient New York.”

“This new glamping site is proof positive of the tremendous impact of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals program, preserving the immense history of the Canal while showcasing how its infrastructure and properties can be made part of the foundation of the future of our State,” New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said. “Glampers will enjoy world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while remaining safe and socially distanced, as well as lift up local Schuylerville businesses with increased tourism.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation to bring glamping to Upstate New York, offering both residents and visitors alike a whole new way to experience the history and beauty of the Canals,” Camp Rockaway’s Kent Johnson said. “We look forward to helping New Yorkers get out of the house and into the outdoors in a safe and responsible way during this summer season, and for many years to come.”

This new glamping experience is the latest innovation from Governor Cuomo’s $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative that is revitalizing the Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and the resiliency of canalside communities.

Visit https://camprockaway.com/schuylerville/.

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New York Energy Zone Attraction Opens in Utica to Highlight NYS Role in Developing Electricity, Clean Energy Economy

Admission-Free Facility to Serve as Year-Round Tourist Destination, Offer STEM Education to Area Youth

The admission-free NY Energy Zone opening in Utica will introduce visitors to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future and New York State’s part in it with interactive exhibits.

New York State is opening a new admission-free attraction, John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, designed and financed by the New York Power Authority, in Utica, to tell the story of the state’s electric history, electric companies, and progress toward a clean, renewable energy future.

New York, with a nation-leading climate plan, is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality.

The 15,000-square-foot New York State museum of energy in Utica, located next to the Utica Zoo, is expected to open to the public May 10.

The NY Energy Zone will introduce you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn. Plus you will learn about NYS’s exciting electric history, its great electric companies and the important work at NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Control Center in nearby Marcy.

The facility features exhibits that simulate flying a drone to check on power transmission lines, controlling electricity on an energy grid, operating a power plant, and building a micro power grid along with many other interactive activities designed to teach visitors about the past, present and future of energy in New York State.

Exhibits throughout the museum reflect input and information from New York’s major private utilities; NYPA’s sister agency, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) as well as industry trade groups. Each entity shares its role in the energy and electricity story of New York State that is highlighted throughout the Energy Zone.

Are you ready? An electrifying experience awaits…

  • Activate and personalize your Power Pass with an avatar
  • Step into the zone with our 3-D immersive movie experience “Imagination!” in the Magi Theater
  • Travel back in time with Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
  • Build a bulb, a power plant, microgrid, solar and wind installation
  • Become a control room operator
  • Explore the ‘Future of the Grid’ room and watch the sparks fly
  • “Fly” a drone over power lines
  • Plus enjoy photo op moments and more 

“I visit the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Vista in Lewiston every chance I get and now I am thrilled that I’ll be able to learn even more about the New York energy story at the New York Energy Zone in Utica,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “NYPA’s first-class visitors centers attract visitors from around the world. This energy museum will help boost the local economy as more tourists visit the area. Educators from around the state and beyond will appreciate what the museum has to offer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programming, and we will all benefit by inspiring new leaders in these fields as we transform our energy system to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.”

Named for former NYPA Chairman John S. Dyson, the new facility is affiliated with NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Center — the hub of its statewide power transmission control center located in Marcy. The two-story facility features a 3D feature film about Nikola Tesla directed by Douglas Trumbull, known for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Blade Runner (1982). The film showcases the contributions of Tesla and other famous inventors from the past, returning Tesla to the present to introduce him to the amazing electrical achievements and opportunities of today that have been made possible by his work.

The facility also is home to a STEM Lab — a space dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and focused on student learning. The STEM Lab’s programming will be developed in partnership with local educational entities with an expertise in STEM and will host hands-on educational experiences and special events.

The museum is named for John S. Dyson, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Power Authority from 1979 to 1985, and vice chairman and member of the board of trustees from 2011 to 2012. Hallmarks of his leadership at NYPA include a legacy of strengthening the state’s power transmission system, energy conservation, and programs to promote energy efficiency and economic development, including initiatives allocating lower cost electricity to businesses in return for job commitments. As the state’s Commerce Commissioner in the late 1970s, he established the “I Love New York” program. A longtime New Yorker, Dyson grew up in Westchester and Dutchess counties and graduated from Cornell University. He lives in Millbrook, Dutchess County.

The museum is expected to complement the region’s tourism attractions and contribute to its economic development, in addition to showcasing New York State as being on the vanguard of a clean, renewable energy economy.

All visits to the new John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone will follow New York Forward COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information or to schedule a time to visit after May 10, visit NYPA’s New York Energy Zone webpage.

Anthony J. Picente Jr., NYPA trustee and Oneida County Executive, said,”Utica is a natural location for this museum of energy because it complements the work of our Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, NYPA’s system-wide energy transmission complex in Marcy. I am grateful to my colleagues at the Power Authority for their vision in conceiving and developing this magnificent facility in Oneida County that will inspire our next generation of energy leaders and benefit all New Yorkers for decades to come.”

NYPA has three other admission-free visitors centers near its major hydropower projects. The centers, which feature exhibits that demonstrate the production of electricity, also educate the public about clean energy and host community events. NYPA’s Niagara Power Vista, minutes from Niagara Falls; its Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center in the Catskills; and its Frank S. McCullough, Jr., Visitors Center and Boat Launch at Hawkins Point on the St. Lawrence River offer outdoor recreation opportunities on the grounds and nearby. For more information about COVID-19 prevention protocols and opening plans, visit NYPA’s Visitors Centers webpage.  

  • Housed in a 19th-century dairy barn Blenheim-Gilboa features exhibits describing the unique engineering of a pumped-storage power facility. On the grounds stands Lansing Manor, a 19th century home preserved for modern visitors. Hiking, boating and fishing are very popular.
  • The Hawkins Point Visitors Center nests on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Visitors will learn about the series of dams, walls, and canals that let the enormous river provide power to both Canada and New York.
  • At the renovated Niagara Power Vista, the power generation exhibits are on a par with those of the best science museums in the country—and it’s just five miles from Niagara Falls.
  • The NY Energy Zone introduces you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

NYPA is one of the largest state public power organizations in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.

John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, is located just outside the Utica Zoo, 35 Utica Zoo Way Utica, NY, 13501, 315-792-8720, https://www.nypa.gov/communities/visitors-centers/ny-energy-zone

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NYS Launches ‘Empire State Trail Challenge’ on New 750-Mile Recreation Trail

Set A Goal To Run, Walk, or Bicycle the New 750-Mile Recreation Trail This Spring

Registration Is Now Open Here For Four-Month Challenge

Biking over the Rosendale Trestle, 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, part of the 750-mile New York Empire State Trail network. The Empire State Trail has formed a partnership with the nationally-known Boilermaker race to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge” – a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.  
© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Empire State Trail has formed a partnership with the nationally-known Boilermaker race to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge” – a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.  

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced completion of the Trail, now the nation’s longest multi-use state trail. Following New York’s historic canal systems and rail trails, the new recreational trail spans the state from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo, and gives bicyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and others a safe and scenic pathway to experience New York State’s incredibly diverse landscapes.

“The Empire State Trail Challenge brings together two giants of outdoor recreation in New York State – our new 750-mile Empire State Trail and Utica’s classic Boilermaker race,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to come back from the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge is a great way to show how we can have fun and be New York Tough at the same time. I encourage any interested New Yorkers to participate in this exciting event on our incredible new statewide trail.” 

The Boilermaker organization has held a 15-kilometer running race in Utica since 1978, which has grown into one of the largest 15K races in the country, attracting 10,000 to 15,000 participants annually. With the Boilermaker and most in-person races postponed due to COVID, the virtual Empire State Trail Challenge initiative will engage participants and provide a unique race experience throughout the spring season. 

“Creating opportunities for healthy activity and lifestyles lies at the core of the Boilermaker mission,” Boilermaker Marketing Director Jordan Peters said. “So it was a natural fit to work in concert with New York State to provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to get outside and participate in a safe and healthy endeavor while highlighting the features of the Empire State Trail.”

The Boilermaker Empire State Trail Challenge is a four-month virtual race through July 31. Participants can register now and begin logging their miles walking, running or cycling on Friday, April 9. Participants would complete the mileage of at least one leg of the Empire State Trail: either the Hudson Valley Trail: 210 miles (New York City to Albany); the Erie Canalway Trail: 350 miles (Albany to Buffalo); or the Champlain Valley: 190 miles (Albany to Canada Border at Rouses Point). Participants can sign up as teams or individuals. For more information or to register, visit the website.

Although people are encouraged to the explore the actual Empire State Trail, participants can run, walk, or ride anywhere geographically, on local trails and running/bicycling routes near where they live to log and complete the challenge.

Each entrant would receive a t-shirt with their $25 entrance fee for a single leg of the trail. If interested, participants can register for additional legs at the time of registration or any time during the race period at $5 per leg. Challenge participants will enter their mileage on an online platform over the duration of the race window, reaching milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail, and have the ability to share their experiences on social media.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Empire State Trail Challenge is one of the ways we are building back better at our state parks and trails. Our parks and trails have been safe and healthy outlets for everyone during the pandemic. Whether enjoying a fun nature break with friends and family, or truly testing their limits, the Empire State Trail Challenge offers participants of all ages and abilities a rewarding and socially distanced opportunity to enjoy New York’s outdoors.”

“The partnership with the Boilermaker is a great way to introduce the Empire State Trail to those across New York State and the nation who take part in the storied race every year,” Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers said. “The Empire State Trail is an ideal pathway for runners, bicyclists, and walkers to get outside and exercise, while learning about the iconic landscapes, local communities, and historic and cultural attractions along the 750-mile trail. 

Director of the New York State Canal Corporation Brian U. Stratton said, “This exciting new partnership will offer thousands of New Yorkers and Boilermaker runners from around the country a chance to see the very best of our state, encouraging safe and responsible outdoor recreation along the lengths of the Empire State Trail. Governor Cuomo’s ongoing Reimagine the Canals program is based on forward-looking partnerships like this, which bring together communities and New Yorkers to lift up local economies and showcase the exceptional history of the Erie Canal, as well as the tremendous upgrades and new attractions being constructed along its banks.”

“The Empire State Trail is the newest jewel in New York State’s tourism crown and the Challenge is an opportunity to promote the trail to those looking for unique ways to experience the great outdoors,” New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “We hope that events like the Empire State Trail Challenge inspire more people to utilize the trail as a centerpiece of a getaway to the many the communities it touches across the state.”

The Empire State Trail website provides quick and easy access to trail information along the 750-mile route including segment descriptions and an on-line map identifying off-road trails connecting on-road sections, trail distances, designated parking areas, restrooms, and nearby amenities and attractions.

See also:

Cycle the Erie 8-Day, 400-Mile Bike Adventure Registration Now Open for Limited 350 Spots

NEW YORK’S EMPIRE STATE TRAIL COMES TOGETHER: BIKING THE WALLKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL IN HUDSON VALLEY

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NY PopsUp Festival Ushers Return of Performing Arts to NYC With 300 Events Throughout City, State in 100 Days

Tap Dancer Ayodele Casel at the NY PopsUp performance at the Queens Museum.

NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances, many of which are free of charge and all open to the public, is now running in various locations through Labor Day. The series – some 300 events across New York City and state in the next 100 days – is intended to revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens with the energy of live performance while jumpstarting New York’s struggling live entertainment sector.

The Festival, a private/public partnership overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development,  serves as a “pilot program,” creating the state’s first large-scale model for how to bring live performance back safely after this prolonged COVID-related shutdown.

The programming for NY PopsUp is curated by the interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur, in partnership with a council of artistic advisors who represent the diversity of New York’s dynamic performing arts scene. NY PopsUp is running through Labor Day. The Festival will reach its climax with the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and The Festival at Little Island at Pier 55, bringing the total number of performances to more than 1,000. NY PopsUp is being coordinated in lock step with state public health officials and will strictly adhere to Department of Health COVID-19 protocols.

“Cities have taken a real blow during COVID, and the economy will not come back fast enough on its own – we must bring it back,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts.”

The events produced by NY PopsUp, in addition to being free of charge, will be staged across every type of neighborhood and district in all five boroughs of New York City, throughout Long Island and Upstate New York, and in all regions of the state. As the current realities of COVID-19 make mass gatherings and large, destination-style events impossible, NY PopsUp will meet New York City and State residents where they are, infusing their daily lives with the surprise and joy of live performance. The hundreds of free, pop-up events that constitute NY PopsUp will make stages out of New York’s existing landscapes, including iconic transit stations, parks, subway platforms, museums, skate parks, street corners, fire escapes, parking lots, storefronts, and upstate venues, transforming everyday commutes, local communities, and locations never used for performances into canvases of awe and exhilaration. Instead of there being masses of audience members at a handful of events, this Festival is a mass of events, each for a safe and secure ‘handful’ of audience members.

The public will encounter a range of artists representing all areas of performance – from theater to dance, from poetry to comedy, from pop music to opera, and so much more. Among the confirmed artists are Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Isabel Leonard, Nico Muhly, Joyce DiDonato, John Early and Kate Berlant, Patti Smith, Mandy Patinkin, Raja Feather Kelly, J’Nai Bridges, Kenan Thompson, Gavin Creel, Garth Fagan, Larry Owens, Q-Tip, Billy Porter, Conrad Tao, Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, Tina Landau, Rhiannon Giddens, Aparna Nancherla, Anthony Rodriguez, Jonathan Groff, Savion Glover, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chris Celiz, Christine Goerke, Kelli O’Hara, Dev Hynes, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Mearns, George Saunders, Caleb Teicher, Danielle Brooks, Jeremy Denk, Idina Menzel, Sondra Radvanovsky, Gaby Moreno, Davóne Tines, Jerrod Carmichael, Taylor Mac, Sutton Foster, Jessie Mueller, and Courtney ToPanga Washington, among many others. The events themselves will ignite imaginative collisions of different artforms.

Rudin and Rosenthal said, in a joint statement“As two lifelong New Yorkers, it has been utterly devastating to see our creative community brought to an absolute standstill for a year. It’s inconceivable. We both spend our lives generating opportunities for artists, so we were both thrilled to be asked by Governor Cuomo to try to ignite a spark to bring art and performance back to life for the State. The passionate enthusiasm of every person we asked to join us in this incentive is going to make this a labor of both love and invention. We’re honored to be spearheading this campaign. Frankly, our most profound hope is that by the time NY PopsUp culminates on Labor Day, New York will be fully on the way to being reopened and revitalized and that this initiative, having served its purpose, will no longer be necessary. It’s the spark, not the fire — the fire is the complete return of all the arts, in their full glory, standing as they always have for the rich, emotional life of the city and state in which we both live.”

During the run of the festival, NY PopsUp will grow in its scale, volume of performances, and geographical footprint, with events throughout New York State, from the Bronx to Staten Island, from Buffalo to Suffolk County, from the Hudson Valley to the Capitol.

NY PopsUp will reach its apex over the summer, celebrating both the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival (June 9 through 20) and the opening of one of New York’s most highly anticipated projects: Little Island (June).

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by Rosenthal and Robert DeNiro in the aftermath of 9/11 to revitalize Lower Manhattan. Tribeca has come to symbolize the resilience of New Yorkers, the importance of our artistic communities, and their impact on the economic activity of our city. This year’s 20th event will be the first in-person film festival in the entirety of North America since the pandemic began to host its filmmakers and their premieres in front of a live audience. With over 300 ticketed and non-ticketed events, the film festival will have screenings, panel discussions, concerts, and more, in parks, on piers, on buildings, and on barges. Tribeca will reach all five boroughs in celebration of the spirit of New York with a closing night celebration of Juneteenth.

The idea for Little Island, a soon-to-open, first-of-its-kind public park on the Hudson River that merges nature and art, was dreamt up as a solution to repair and reinvigorate New York’s West Side after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy. A Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation project, this is yet another example of the unique power of the arts to revitalize New York in the aftermath of crisis. Little Island, which will begin hosting performances in June, will serve as a permanent, year-round home for easily accessible, multidisciplinary programming, and it will continue bringing artists and audiences together long after NY PopsUp hosts its final performance. Little Island will host its own festival, The Festival at Little Island, in conjunction with the final weeks of NY PopsUp. The Festival at Little Island, which kicks off August 11, 2021 and runs through September 5, will host an average of 16 events per day, for a total of 325 performances by approximately 500 artists.

More details about NY PopsUp will be announced soon. Please note that, given the impromptu nature and surprise element of the pop-up format, not all performances will be announced in advance. Please follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram for the latest.

The first performances include, among others still to be announced, the following:

The series began on Saturday, February 20 with members of the artists council leading a performance at the Javits Center as a special tribute to our healthcare workers. The performance featured Jon Batiste, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Ayodele Casel, and additional special guests joining forces for a one-of-a-kind live performance. 

Throughout the day, the performers traveled around New York City, meeting audiences at various locations throughout all five boroughs in courtyards, workplaces, parks, and street corners, at the footsteps of locations such as, Flushing Post Office, Elmhurst Hospital, and St. Barnabas Hospital. Saturday will conclude with one of Jon Batiste’s signature Love Riots beginning at Walt Whitman Park and ending at Golconda Playground in Brooklyn.

On Sunday, February 21, legendary choreographer Garth Fagan’s company lead a special performance at the MAGIC Spell Studios at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a tribute for the staff who have made it possible for RIT to stay open and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also:

Patti Smith performing at the Brooklyn Museum in remembrance of the passing of Robert Mapplethorpe.

Partnership with “Works & Process” at the Guggenheim, that will take brilliant new performances beyond the famed Rotunda to locations around the boroughs. These collaborations include George Gershwin’s anthem to New York City, Rhapsody in Blue, performed by New York’s own pianist and composer, Conrad Tao, with new choreography by Caleb Teicher; The Missing Element, a beatbox and street dance collaboration, featuring Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez’s “Invertebrate”; and Masterz at Work Dance Family performing a brand-new dance by choreographer Courtney ToPanga Washington.

A series of performances in storefront windows, amplified out onto the street, from artists Gavin Creel, J’Nai Bridges, Davóne Tines, Bobbi Jene Smith, Or Schraiber, and more.

A new live radio show hosted by Chris Thile, broadcast from stoops all over New York State, from Brooklyn and the East Village to the steps of Albany’s Empire State Plaza across from the Capitol building.

A series of dynamic and participatory performances created by Ayodele Casel taking place in the lobbies of free museums throughout the City of New York, including the Brooklyn Museum and Queens Museum.

NY PopsUp, the Tribeca Film Festival, and The Festival at Little Island will together bring a total of more than 1,000 performances to New York State, signaling an event unmatched in scale and unrivaled in scope.

As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, the model that NY PopsUp builds for holding safe live events will pave the way for the reopening of multidisciplinary flexible venues (“flex venues”) throughout New York State to open and participate in the Festival. These will be the very first indoor performances since the pandemic began and will mark a major moment in New York’s recovery efforts. Not only will these indoor events be a symbol to the entire world that New York is back, they will also be a key step in the long process of getting tens-of-thousands of arts professionals around New York State back to work; and a bridge to getting Broadway and all of the New York cultural world open. These Flex Venues are established performance spaces without fixed seating and are thus able to be adapted for social distancing. Examples of these venues would include The SHED, The Apollo, Harlem Stage, La MaMa, and The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater. All indoor events will strictly follow Department of Health public health and safety guidance.

“Having artists call on other artists as a means to build this festival’s giant creative community will spur opportunities for wild, bold, and intimate collaborations that would never otherwise have been possible. As a result, the work presented will represent a near limitless range, colliding disparate styles, disciplines, and points-of-view to infiltrate the daily lives of New Yorkers in genuinely surprising and unprecedented ways,” Zack Winokur said.”Ultimately, this Festival is about using art as a means of reestablishing human connection. With NY PopsUp, there is no mediating force between artist and artist, or artist and audience. It’s humans in direct contact with each other, and the context of this particular moment will make that connection all the more profound.”

The council of artistic advisors, who are all collaborating and co-curating NY PopsUp, is comprised of New York’s premier artistic visionaries, all hailing from different disciplinary backgrounds and each a leader in their own field. These advisors are charged with inviting other artists to join the NY PopsUp community. The artists they engage will, in turn, engage their own networks, ultimately populating the festival with the broadest, most diverse coalition of performers ever united around a single mission. In short, NY PopsUp is being built by artists asking artists to participate.

The council includes renowned choreographer and MacArthur Fellow, Kyle Abraham; three-time Grammy Award nominated jazz musician, Jon Batiste; choreographer and Hoofer Award-winning tap dancer Ayodele Casel; Grammy Award nominated singer, actor, and international opera star, Anthony Roth Costanzo; the playwright of Slave Play, the most Tony Award nominated play in history, Jeremy O. Harris; Tony Award-winning set designer Mimi Lien; the legendary nine-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Wynton Marsalis; two-time National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet, essayist, and playwright, Claudia Rankine; Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist, Cécile McLorin Salvant; leading member of the Punch Brothers and four-time Grammy Award winner, Chris Thile; acclaimed “Saturday Night Live” writer, comedian, and actor, Julio Torres; and acclaimed director and musician, Whitney White. 

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Adirondacks Covid Getaway Features Glass-blown Pumpkins in North Creek; ‘Glass Pumpkin Patch’ Weekend, Sept 25-27

While in North Creek (Gore Mt ski area) for an Adirondacks getaway, Marty takes a class with artist-in-residence glassblower Greg Tomb. Last day for classes this season is September 23, 2020. © Laurie Millman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Laurie Millman and Martin Rubin

Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

For a COVID getaway, which we just did over Labor Day, enjoy fall foliage colors and no quarantining required (if you live in the Northeast) in New York State’s Adirondacks State Park. 

While in North Creek (Gore Mt ski area), visit and/or take a class with artist-in-residence glassblower extraordinaire, Greg Tomb — last day for classes this season is  September 23, 2020.

In cooperation with North Creek’s Tannery Pond Center, Tomb has made hundreds of colorful, glass-blown pumpkins that will be sold at the “Glass Pumpkin Patch” weekend, September 25-27, 2020, from 10am – 6pm daily. Each pumpkin has been hand-blown by Tomb, giving them their unique and distinctive sizes and designs (starting price of $35). A sizable percentage of all sales goes towards the arts and operations of North Creek’s Tannery Pond Center, North Creek, NY.

For more info, visit https://tannerypondcenter.org/event/fundraiser-glass-pumpkin-patch/).

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On Centennial of 19th amendment, NYS Announces Preservation Project of Historic Susan B. Anthony Childhood Home

“Wave” Sculpture puts you in the march toward the first Women’s Rights Convention, at Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. New York State is marking the centennial of the 19th amendment by allocating money to preserve and restore Susan B. Anthony’s childhood home in Battenville © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an effort to stabilize and preserve the childhood home of prominent 19th century women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony, in Washington County. The work at the 1832 two-story brick home on Route 29 in Battenville where Anthony lived from ages 13 to 19, which includes repairs to the roof, masonry and drainage, as well as mold remediation and water damage, is expected to be complete by September.

“New York has been the birthplace to many of the progressive movements that have left an indelible mark on our society while pushing the nation forward and particularly for women’s suffrage, which began at Seneca Falls and included legendary New Yorkers such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many more,”Governor Cuomo said. “As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, we must also recognize there is more work to be done. New York will continue to lead the nation in creating greater equality for all and we are proud to preserve and enhance this important part of American history for future generations.”

“On the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, this development will stabilize Susan B. Anthony’s childhood home in Washington County, allowing for the reuse of the property,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “While the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum in Rochester showcases the history of one of the world’s greatest revolutionaries, this project will further preserve Anthony’s legacy in New York State. As the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, New York was the first major state to grant the right to vote in the country, leading the way for the 19th Amendment. As we celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage, we still have more work to do to achieve true equality and justice. Now more than ever, we must embrace this time to continue to fight for real change.”

This year is also the 200th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s birth, in 1820. The child of a Quaker family that promoted abolition and temperance, she lived in Washington County, in Battenville and later in Center Falls, from 1826 to 1845 between the ages of 6 and 25 before her family moved to Rochester.

Governor Cuomo also announced that the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which is managing the $695,000 stabilization project, has reached a purchase agreement on an adjoining four-acre site that contains a former historic tavern dating to the period when the Anthony family lived next door. Supported by the state Environmental Protection Fund, the $130,500 purchase will allow for future creation of adequate parking for the Anthony home and serve as a staging area for continued phased redevelopment of the building for an as-yet undetermined future use.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Part of our mission is the preservation of our state’s historic legacy. The home where Susan B. Anthony spent her formative years has a story to tell and we want to get the home in the proper condition, so it one day is able to tell it.”

The stabilization project is supported by a $250,000 grant obtained by state Assembly Member Carrie Woerner and the remainder from New York Works; support was also obtained by State Senator Betty Little.

The Battenville home was built in 1832-33 by Anthony’s father who had moved the family from Adams, Mass., to manage a cotton mill on the nearby Battenkill River. At the age of 13, Susan joined the Easton Society of Friends. The Anthonys lost their home in 1839 due to financial setbacks caused by a national financial recession in 1837. The former family residence was in a state of disrepair by the time State Parks purchased it at foreclosure for $1 in 2006.

Anthony, who died in 1906 at age 86, worked for decades to advance women’s rights, but did not live to see the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. She is buried in Rochester.

“To have played a small role in preserving this unique part of the history of Susan B. Anthony’s life truly is a privilege,” Greenwich Supervisor Donald Ward said. “The Town of Greenwich is supportive of NYS efforts to revitalize the Anthony home. The home is a symbol of those Suffragettes that battled for the Womens Right to Vote. In the future we are hoping the SBA house will become a historical site bringing visitors to Greenwich and honoring our hometown heroine. It is my hope that in doing so we are helping assure that the magnitude of her accomplishments, her courage and her unwillingness to yield in the face of enormous obstacles will never be forgotten.   As we commemorate the centennial of women’s suffrage this year, we celebrate the life of this remarkable woman who recognized that the ideals enshrined in the U.S. Constitution are, in fact, a call to action to be better individuals and to be a better nation.” 

Assembly Member Carrie Woerner said, “Susan B. Anthony’s contributions to our nation through the Women’s Suffrage movement are crucial pieces of history, and on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment I am pleased to see her homestead in Washington County brought back to life for countless generations to visit and learn from. The dedication and relentless passion of local community leaders have been essential in the restoration of this historic property and I am glad to continue to lend my support to this project.”

Salem Supervisor Evera Sue Clary said, “We are honored to support the woman whose formative years were spent here on the banks of the Battenkill. Susan B. Anthony reminds us of the power of women, the power of the vote, and the importance of taking risks in order to force necessary change in our society. May she continue to inspire our local youth and beyond to create good trouble she is remembered for. ” 

“I have passed that schoolhouse thousands of times. It at one time way back bordered my family property,” Jackson Supervisor Jay Skellie said. “Some of my relatives attended it and my grandmother taught there for a short time. To think that events that happened there to Susan B Anthony set her course in life which would change history for women in the U.S. is mind blowing.”

Ann Kril, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County, said, “It is fitting that NYS announces the work to preserve the childhood home of suffragist Susan B. Anthony on this 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which is also the 100th anniversary of the transformation of the National Woman Suffrage Association into the League of Women Voters.”

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which were visited by a record 77 million people in 2019. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. The free New York State Parks Explorer mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. To download, visit: Google Play Store, NY State Parks Explorer App or Apple Store, NY State Parks Explorer App.

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Sky Flyer Zipline Opens at Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

New York State has a new attraction: the Sky Flyer Zipline at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.

New York State has another new attraction: the Sky Flyer Zipline at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. The Zipline is the latest year-round attraction at the Olympic Complex and, along with the recently completed Skyride Gondola, the venue now offers a variety of ways to soar and explore the stunning beauty of the Adirondacks. The Sky Flyer Zipline is open Wednesday to Sunday for summer operations through Mid-October, and will operate on weekends for the remainder of fall.

The Sky Flyer Zipline is an exciting and thrilling attraction for visitors of all ages. Guests experience the ride from a seated position as they fly from the 70-foot tower located next to the take off ramp. Soaring parallel to the Olympic landing hill at a 30-degree decline, riders experience the excitement of an Olympic Ski Jumper. The 700-foot descent gracefully ends near the base lodge on the landing deck.  

“The Sky Flyer Zipline is our latest and most exciting addition to the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex, and is part of our ongoing effort to modernize the entire complex, not just for the athletes it serves in the wintertime but for the thousands of families in New York and across the northeast who come to Lake Placid for summer fun,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Our efforts are transforming the complex into a year-round provider of excitement and entertainment, which will attract more summer visitors and provide a boost to local businesses.”
 
The SkyRide Gondola takes visitors up the hillside to the world renowned Olympic Jumping Towers. From there, guests can take the glass enclosed elevator to the top of the 120-meter tower to enjoy panoramic views from the observatory room. There is also an exterior viewing deck that overlooks the entire landing hill and gives an amazing perspective to what athletes face just before releasing. The Gondola is open daily for the remainder of the summer season. 

The Olympic Ski Jumping Complex facility is operating on reduced capacity and follows all NY State protocols, including requiring face coverings for all guests, limited occupancy within each Gondola cabin and reduced indoor seating availability. Masks are required at all venues. 

ORDA President & CEO, Mike Pratt said,”The transformation of the Olympic Jumping Complex into a year-round destination is something we are very proud of. Besides hosting international competition and training, our guests will now be able to feel the same exhilaration as our athletes.”   

For more information about the Sky Flyer Zipline and the Lake Placid Olympic sites, visit https://lakeplacidolympicsites.com/todo/sky-flyer-zipline/.

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New York State Parks Reopen Camping Reservations

Building a fire at our campsite at New York’s Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East.” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is accepting new camping reservations for this season. Campers are reminded to practice social distancing, bring and wear a face covering, respect the rules, and do their part to keep the campgrounds, parks and beaches open and safe for everyone. Camping capacity is limited and visitors must make an advance reservation before arriving at a campground.

New reservations are being accepted for all available sites – including tents, trailers, RVs, cabins, yurts and cottages. Reservations can be made in advance by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com. Online reservations are recommended.

State Park Police and operations staff are patrolling campgrounds to ensure compliance with social distancing and crowd control measures. Anyone who does not adhere to this guidance will be requested to leave the facility, and will not receive a refund.

Upon check-in, campers will be asked a series of screening questions to determine if they may have been in contact with anyone suffering from Covid-19, or if they have any potential symptoms of Covid-19, including fever or respiratory illness. People who may be at risk will not be permitted to camp.

Campground density reduction and social distancing measures will be in effect, including:

  • No walk-up reservations are allowed.
  • Each congregate restroom facility will be opened and cleaned per DOH protocols.
  • Rest rooms and shower buildings may have reduced capacity and may be closed periodically for cleaning.
  • Campground gatherings are limited to immediate household members only.
  • Campground events and programs have been suspended.
  • Park Social Distancing Ambassadors monitor campgrounds, picnic areas, beachfronts, lawns, boardwalks and other areas to ensure park guidelines are being met.
  • COVID related signage has been installed throughout the park system.

For a listing of campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, visit https://parks.ny.gov/camping/. Campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks overseen by the Department of Environmental Conservation operate on a different schedule.

Beaches and day-use areas

New York State Parks’ beaches and day-use areas are open for visitation across the state. In alignment with NY Forward, State Park beaches, day-use areas and historic sites are charging the normal entrance fee (between $6-$10). For information, visit: https://forward.ny.gov/. Entrance fees may apply beginning Saturday, June 6.

Visitors can purchase a 2020 Season Empire Pass for unlimited day-use entry. Available for $80, the 2020 Season Empire Pass is a wallet-sized card that can be shared within a household and not assigned to a specific vehicle. For more details, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/admission/empire-passport/default.aspx

Visiting State Parks during the public health crisis

To encourage physical social distancing at popular parks, beaches, trailheads, and scenic areas, several restrictions are in effect, including reduced access on high visitation days

State Parks encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:

  • Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members.
  • Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks.
  • Bring and wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn anytime you enter a rest room or park office.
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer.
  • Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees.
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
  • If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.

For information and guidance on visiting New York State Parks during the Covid-19 public health crisis, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/

See also:

Driveable Adventures: Hiking/Camping in the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ – New York’s Letchworth State Park

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Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Has Grand Opening

The much-anticipated Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an experiential museum that reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls, has just opened, May 4. John Morrison and James Patterson © E.B. Lewis

Niagara Falls, NY – The much-anticipated Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an experiential museum that reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls, has just opened, May 4. A project of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission in cooperation with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, a program of the National Park Service, the Heritage Center inspires visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery and to take action toward an equitable society. It is located in the former 1863 U.S. Custom House attached to the new Niagara Falls Amtrak Station.

“As the first new cultural attraction in the City of Niagara Falls in over 35 years, opening the Underground Railroad Heritage Center is an incredibly significant event, both to the people of Niagara Falls, and throughout the world,” said Bill Bradberry, President and Chair, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission

The Heritage Center’s permanent exhibition, One More River to Cross, features the rich stories of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls, the crucial role played by its location and geography, and the actions of its residents – particularly its African American residents. The Heritage Center’s immersive exhibits and cutting-edge interpretation affirmatively align with the principles of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, whose mission is to connect the past to modern social justice issues – “to turn memory to action.”

Through painstaking research, the exhibition presents engaging digital media, graphics, scenic built environments and facilitated dialogic programming as part of the visitor experience. Scenic exhibit components include a recreation of the Cataract House – a premier international hotel that employed an entirely African American wait staff, who helped uncounted numbers of freedom seekers to freedom in Canada, just across the Niagara River. Also included is a recreation of the International Suspension Bridge, built in 1848, and rebuilt in 1855 to incorporate rail traffic, where Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers crossed the imaginary line from slavery to freedom. Stories are brought to life with powerful images by award winning illustrator and fine artist E.B. Lewis and voice-overs by Emmy Award winning actor Keith David.

“From the very beginning, the objective for the Heritage Center was to create an immersive experience that brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who fought for freedom,” said Ally Spongr, Director and Curator, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center.

The new Heritage Center focuses on stories of courageous self-emancipation by freedom seekers. Throughout the exhibition visitors experience these stories and hear from individuals past and present with the hope that these stories and connections will allow for deeper engagement, consideration of new or different perspectives, and motivation to action.

“The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center will not only shine a light on the significant role Niagara played at this critical time in our nation’s history but the stories of the brave men and women whose contributions to this movement we must never forget. I want to commend the Heritage Commission for their painstaking efforts to bring this educational and interactive experience to life for generations to come,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.

This project is led by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission, chaired by Bill Bradberry, directed and curated by Ally Spongr, and based on research by lead historian Dr. Judith Wellman. The Heritage Center’s design-build teams include Studio Tectonic of Boulder, Colorado, Richard Lewis Media Group of Boston, Massachusetts, and Universal Services Associates, Inc., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission, 825 Depot Avenue W., Niagara Falls, NY 14305, niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org.

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New York State Goes All-Out to Commemorate Erie Canal’s Bicentennial

Lockport has the only original locks of the Erie Canal still remaining. Events throughout the state will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal, an engineering marvel then and now © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Celebrations and events will take place across New York State to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. An engineering marvel that stimulated trade, exploration and invention, the canal project created the first superhighway across New York, connecting Albany and Buffalo and improving transportation to and from New York City by linking the Hudson River to Lake Erie.
“The Erie Canal was critical in establishing New York as a national hub for commerce and industry, and today offers boaters unparalleled views and access to our canalside communities,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “In commemorating this anniversary, we celebrate the canal’s rich heritage as well as its pivotal role in promoting economic development and tourism today. I urge visitors to come experience the many events planned for the bicentennial celebration.”

The 2017 boating season is already underway on the 524-mile canal system for recreational vessels, which are now the primary users of the canals. The season runs through Oct. 11 when the canal is actually drained. A ceremony to mark the occasion was held in Waterford, the eastern terminus of the canal, where Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul gave the orders to open the gate at Lock 2, where more than 20 boats were waiting to begin their canal journey.

It was on April 15, 1817, the New York State legislature approved construction of the Erie Canal, connecting Albany to Buffalo. Crews began work following the ceremonial first dig on July 4, 1817, in Rome, Oneida County. The canal was officially completed on October 26, 1825.

The towns established along the canal now blossom with annual festivals, living history re-enactments and hands-on museums that celebrate the region’s rich past and the communities that live along the canal today.

“This will be an exciting year to visit the canals,” Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said. “Come experience our unique destinations and celebrate the Erie Canal Bicentennial with the more than 200 communities within the corridor and be a part of a history that is still being written every day.”

The New York State Canal Corporation is co-hosting bicentennial events with communities along the canal. They include:

  • Amsterdam, June 9, with a festival and fireworks at Riverlink Park, home to the new Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge;
  • Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, June 10, all day canal-themed events and barbeque, where you can see the remnants of the original Erie Canal, the enlarged canal and current configuration of the Barge Canal;
  • Lockport, July 8, home to the famed “Flight of Five,” a set of five locks dating to the 1860s. The Flight once effectively acted as “stairs for boats” heading up the Niagara Escarpment, the long cliff that runs east/west across New York that famously includes Niagara Falls;
  • Rochester, July 14-15, featuring an Erie Canal forum and a day of family-friendly events and music, both held at the Strong National Museum of Play; and
  • Rome, July 22, an all-day event at Bellamy Harbor Park, featuring a first-dig re-enactment, an arts and crafts fair, concerts and fireworks.

Mid-Lakes Navigation’s Lockmaster canalboat at Fairport, one of the revitalized canaltowns © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Other festivals, exhibits and celebrations commemorating the bicentennial include:

  • The Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor plays host year-round to a number of museums and historical sites, which bring the rich history of the canal to life.
  • The Corning Museum of Glass will launch GlassBarge, a floating performance venue that will bring the story of glassmaking as well as demonstrations to waterfront communities across the state beginning June 2 in Fairport.
  • The Albany Symphony will bring “Water Music NY,” a series of unique musical celebrations of the historic waterway, to communities beginning in Albany on July 2, culminating July 8 in Lockport, when the orchestra will play while on a barge inside a canal lock.
  • The 1862 replica canal boat “Lois McClure” will travel across the state, including the length of the Erie Canal, visiting towns and villages along the way, as crews from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum show visitors what life was like aboard a canal boat. Erie Canal Cruises in Herkimer will put on a July 4 commemoration and is planning season-long exhibits and demonstrations that will highlight the engineering triumphs of the eight-year construction process with notable innovations on display such as the wheelbarrow and stump puller.
  • The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry in the Finger Lakes shows how the opening of this vital trade route helped foster social reform movements, including women’s rights. Nearby, catch fireworks during Canal Fest on July 7-9.
  • WCNY Public Media’s new documentary, Erie: The Canal That Made America will premiere this September.
  • Syracuse will host the annual World Canals Conference from September 24 – 28, an international event that attracts canal professionals, tourism experts, academics and canal enthusiasts and boaters. Syracuse is also home to the Erie Canal Museum, located in the only remaining weighlock building in the U.S., where year-round interactive displays and artifacts tell the story of the canal’s development and the creativity and inventions that made it possible.
  • From September 30 through October 15, Locktoberfests will take place in communities along the canal system. The annual autumn events incorporate community markets, Taste NY products, local art and entertainment and family activities. Locktoberfests are scheduled in Fort Edward, Rome, Seneca Falls, Phoenix and Lockport.
  • A new Erie Canal exhibit, “New York’s Erie Canal: Gateway to a Nation,” will open this fall at the New York State Museum in Albany.
  • In Lockport, the Kenan Center, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will have a special exhibition of Erie Canal photographs.
  • The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum lets visitors step back in time to experience life on the canal as it used to be, while the Canastota Canal Town Museum highlights canal history and engineering achievements.
  • In the Greater Niagara region, Canalside Buffalo offers a calendar full of fun festivals featuring live music, artisans, food and kid-friendly activities.

To further celebrate the bicentennial, permit fees for recreational vessels, normally costing $25-$100, have been waived by the Canal Corporation this year.

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect more than 230 unique and historic communities.

The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail accommodating more than 1.5 million pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers annually. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Albany to Buffalo is a dedicated off-road trail, much of it along the canal’s former towpath.  Other off-road sections will be completed as part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Trail initiative, which will include the Erie Canalway Trail and portions of the Champlain Canalway Trail, and at 750 miles will be the longest multi-use recreational trail network in the nation upon its completion in 2020.

Biking along the Erie Canalway with New York Parks & Trails © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

For the most amazing immersion into the Erie Canal’s rich history and stunning landscape, join New York Parks & Trails annual Erie Canal bike ride, when you bike the full length of the Erie Canal and the Erie Canalway (and then some), on the 400-mile, 8-day supported camping trip (July 9-16, Parks & Trails New York, 29 Elk Street, Albany NY 12207, 518-434-1583, ptny@ptny.org). Or, take a Lockmaster canalboat (a houseboat) through Mid-Lakes Navigation (11 Jordan St., Skaneateles, NY 13152, 315-685-8500, 800-545-4318, info@midlakesnav.com, midlakesnav.com).

To learn more about New York’s canal heritage and bicentennial events, visit:

Since 2011, Governor Cuomo has made substantial investments in the tourism industry throughout New York State, leading to historic levels of visitors and direct spending. New York recently welcomed 234 million visitors who spent over $63 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the second straight year. Additionally, tourism the state’s fourth largest employer, supporting more than 910,000 jobs annually.

New York State features 11 vacation regions. New York’s attractions feature landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the largest park in the continental U.S. in the Adirondacks and treasures such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Corning Museum of Glass. New York State offers diverse activities for all: outdoor fun – snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, fishing, hiking and boating, year-round festivals and exploring the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies. Visitors also enjoy the fine cuisine, beverage trails and farm-to-table fresh foods.  For more information, visit iloveny.com.

 

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