Erie Canal Bicentennial to be Celebrated in 2017
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Erie Canal construction. A number of statewide and local celebrations to honor the legacy of the Erie Canal will take place throughout the year. Statewide planning efforts are underway, guided by an Erie Bicentennial Committee directed by the NYS Canal Corporation. Here’s a look at several things being planned:
- Kickoff celebration in Rome commemorating the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Erie Canal that took place in July 1817;
- Waterway Tours by the replica canal schooner Lois McClure operated by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and orchestral tours by the Albany Symphony Orchestra and Syracuse Symphonia;
- World Canals Conference in Syracuse, September 24-28, including major public events;
- Erie Canal exhibit opening at the NYS Museum in Albany in the fall of 2017;
- New York State grants offered by Canal Corporation and the NYS Council on the Arts, through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program, are being targeted for bicentennial-related investments and community programs. Awards will be announced in December.
- Erie Canalway National Heritage Cooridor, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation, will target a portion of 2017 festival and event sponsorship funds for community events that celebrate the bicentennial. Watch for applications in January.
For more information, contact William Sweitzer at the NYS Canal Corporation at (518) 436-3055, William.Sweitzer@canals.ny.gov