BUFFALO, NY ( release ) Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Chairman Jordan Levy joined with Buffalo Sabres Owner Terrence Pegula, Congresswoman Kathy Hocul and County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz to mark the first annual Canalside Holiday Celebration. The event signaled ECHDC’s commitment to making Canalside a four-season destination for visitors.
“Our waterfront now has something unique to offer all year round,” said Levy. “Tonight’s celebration is just a sample of what will be available next year, once the public canals open on the Aud Block. I encourage the public to come down to Canalside during the next few weeks to enjoy the holiday atmosphere and the terrific changes that are taking place on the waterfront.”
"We're very excited to be a part of the tree lighting at Canalside" said Ted Black president of the Buffalo Sabres. "We encourage all of our fans to stop by and see the tree on their way down to the Sabres games or anytime during the Holiday Season."
The event began on the Central Wharf, with Pegula lighting the Canalside Holiday tree. The 30’ tree was donated by Ed Hilliker of Treehaven Evergreen Nursery in Elma. The installation included work by DiDonato Associates of Buffalo (engineering), General Welding of Elma (steelwork), Hanes Supply of Buffalo (rigging materials), and the Modern Corporation of Buffalo (crane operation). The tree was decorated with hundreds of LED lights by Bravo Events and will feature four different lighting patterns.
Entertainment was provided by the Dickens Carolers, who strolled through Canalside dressed in holiday garb and The House of Munch sold hot chocolate, donuts, French fries and old-time birch beer.
“Western New Yorkers should embrace winter and this celebration is a step in that direction,” said ECHDC President Thomas P. Dee. “If you look at other successful cities, they capitalize on the opportunities that are available during all twelve months of the year. I want to thank the many people who worked to make this night a reality, including our vendors and our great partners at Buffalo Place.”
Following the tree lighting, the Buffalo and Erie County Navy & Military Museum hosted a preview of “The Liberty Hound,” the new bistro that is scheduled to open in April 2012. The preview featured renderings of the completed restaurant as well as samples from the menu.
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is a subsidiary agency of Empire State Development Corporation whose vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty.