Canalside announces 4th of July celebration lineup

BUFFALO, N.Y. - An independence day fireworks display will take place at 10:15 p.m. on Friday at Canalside in Buffalo, thanks to a donation from Russell Salvatore.

The announcement was made on Monday morning as Canalside released a list of events for the 4th of July celebration.

Food trucks and Clinton's Dish will be serving food. There will also be beer, wine and pop for sale.

More information on the celebration can be found on the Canalside website.

Below is a list of events taking place on Independence Day at Canalside:

11 a.m. - 7 p.m.- Kids Activities

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Explore & More Children's Museum open

2 - 3 p.m. - George Scott Big Band

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Buffalo Niagara Concert Band

7 - 9 p.m. - Lance Diamond

9:15 p.m. - Color Guard with Junior ROTC

9:30 p.m. - Flag Folding Ceremony

10:15 p.m. - Fireworks

Canalside has quickly become Buffalo's summertime playground, hosting hundreds of events annually, according to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia.

"When you see the crowds and you see and how everybody embraces the area and just wants to come down ...we're very pleased with what's progressing," Gioia told WGRZ-TV.

"I think what we need to do a better job of, is to show people how to get down here and to park nearby and maybe walk two or three blocks. We are in the process of developing a plan to better sign the area to let you know where Canalside is," Gioia said.

Navigating the area in search of parking, due to continued construction around the inner harbor, can still be challenging.

On Monday there were street closures, so crews could begin installing one of several pedestrian bridges over the historically aligned replica canals, a center piece of development here.

Two cranes were used to hoist sections of the bridge, manufactured in Dansville, into place beneath the skyway.

The replica canals, fraught with delays and still the subject of a thorny legal battle with the prior contractor, are now forecast to open in October or November, nearly two years behind schedule.

"Things are constantly evolving," said Gioia, who also said one of the most controversial aspects of Canalside may not evolve at all.

A six-story parking ramp, once slated to rise near Marine Drive Apartments (and which raised the ire of residents there) "may not necessarily happen", according to Gioia.

The ramp was originally planned when Bass Pro was envisioned as a major retail anchor for Canalside, and even when Bass Pro pulled out of its planned development, the parking ramp was still on the boards.

However, since then, the nearby HarborCenter (which includes a multi story ramp) has progressed in construction. As well, after an exodus of tenants, the One Seneca (formerly HSBC) tower now stands nearly vacant, and with it, several hundred underutilized underground parking spaces.

It makes Gioioa question, for now, whether construction of another ramp is even needed.

"I'm going to be very hard pressed to spend public funding on a parking ramp when people seem to find a way to get down here," Gioia said.


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