"Welcome to Canalfest," said Mayor Alice Roth of Tonawanda, New York. "You might not be able to see the park very well."
© 2001 James Cavanaugh
When I saw all the activity on this section of the historic Erie
Canal, I realized Roth was right. I had come to tour the newly
completed Tonawandas Gateway Harbor Park with Roth during its
busiest time, mid-July's Canalfest. This annual festival has been
a tradition in the twin cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda,
both near Buffalo, for over 20 years, but this was a day to enjoy
the canal for its new distinction: part of a recreationway. Gateway
Harbor Park is part of a new corridor of more than 30 parks linking
the Erie Canal and the towns connected to it. On that sunny July
day, it swarmed with boaters and other festivalgoers.
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