Canalside Releases Summer Schedule

May 25, 2012 Updated May 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

May 25, 2012 Updated May 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM EDT

BUFFALO N.Y. ( release) The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Friday joined with Congressman Brian Higgins, Mayor Byron Brown and representatives from YMCA Buffalo and Young Audiences of Western New York to launch the season of summer programming at Canalside.

This year, Canalside will host more than 425 events and activities presented by 100 local individuals and organizations. New offerings this year include the premiere of a joint venture by The YMCA of Buffalo and Independent Health to provide free yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes, a series of performances by local performers in "the ruins" at Canalside, a regular Saturday Artisan's market, a local young playwright festival and a holistic health exposition.

Programming will center on several clusters: "Story of Buffalo," children and family, health and wellness and contemporary dance and music performances. In addition to daily programming, Canalside will host several weekend festivals, including the Buffalo Irish Festival, the Seneca Creek Native festival and the German American Musician's Buffalo Harbor Oktoberfest.

"As the weather heats up, so is activity at Canalside, making it the place to be this summer," said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Interim President Sam Hoyt. "We expect more visitors than ever to come and discover the unique experience of our waterfront. With exciting activities planned every day from now through Labor Day, the people of Western New York can enjoy a fun-filled and vibrant waterfront this summer."

"Last year was a breakthrough year at the waterfront, drawing over 400,000 visitors," said Congressman Brian Higgins. "This year, I am confident that we will see even more success with Western New Yorkers flocking to Buffalo's front lawn to enjoy programming and new development at the water's edge. There will be a diverse offering of exciting events that center on arts and culture, health and wellness, public markets and plenty of family friendly activities. Get ready to enjoy a great summer on Buffalo's waterfront."

"What we are seeing on Buffalo's waterfront is something very special-hundreds of events bringing hundreds of thousands of people to our emerging waterfront and downtown Buffalo," said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "From restaurants to concerts to events for families, the waterfront is quickly becoming a destination for all of us to enjoy."

"With so many activities, festivals and events offered in the next few months, Canalside is sure to be a family-favorite destination," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. "I invite all County residents to come and enjoy a performance, check out the artisan's market, or explore some of the many other offerings. It will be a great summer at Canalside."

Highlights of the season include:

Young Audiences of Western New York
Beginning May 26

Hands on workshops and performances in visual and performing arts

"Buffalo and Beyond Black History"
Beginning May 26

A one-woman performance exploring African American history

Saturday Artisan Market
Beginning June 2

An eight-week open air artisan market - a first for Canalside

Colored Musicians Club
June 22

Big band concert at Canalside

Erie Canal Sal
June 22

The return of Gretchen Murray Sepik's one woman show about life on the Erie Canal

The Journey
June 25

The premiere performance at "the ruins" - a dance piece by Margaret Kaiser

Buffalo's Annual Independence Day Celebration

July 4

Food, music and Western New York's most spectacular fireworks celebration

Young Playwrights Festival
July 16

First of five performances of works by emerging playwrights from Western New York, sponsored in conjunction with the American Repertory Theatre of WNY

2nd Annual Music is Art Student Showcase
July 29

Concerts highlighting Western New York's finest student musicians

The Buffalo Creek Native Festival

August 4 & 5

Second annual event celebrating the native cultures of Western New York

Buffalo Irish Festival
August 25 & 26

A celebration in food, arts and music of the Irish contribution to Western New York

Holistic Health Exposition

September 9
An exploration of holistic health and alternative medicine

Fleet Week
September 12

In conjunction with the United States Navy

A full calendar of dates is available at

The 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.