Capital District celebrates Canalfest

Water seems to be the unavoidable theme this summer, and the upcoming Canalfest should be a summertime festival that will let the whole family take advantage of planned water routes in the Capital District. This celebration along the Erie Canal will take place at six different sites, including spots throughout Schenectady and Montgomery counties. Locks 7-12 2006 Canalfest includes the Stockade in Schenectady; Freedom Park in Scotia; Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction; and Maalwyck Park in Glenville.

This celebration is a combination of history, sporting events, children's activities, craft shows, antiques cars, music, fireworks and last but not least, food.

Despite the recent rising waters along the Mohawk River, Schenectady County Director of Tourism Gail Kehn said she anticipates the festival will go on as planned.

We are watching the water levels and expect there to be some damage to the areas involved in Canalfest, particularly in Riverfront Park in Amsterdam as well as the water-ski team dock areas in Collins Park. However, at this stage, we are still planning on being able to hold all the planned activities, said Kehn.

One of the highlights this year is the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show in Maalwyck in Glenville, along with archery, fishing, and helicopter rides.

There will be musical entertainment at each location, and will include everything from the Schenectady Symphony to Grammy nominee Alex Torres and the Alan Payette Band.

In Collins Park you can catch an action-packed waterski show and a boat parade. In Schenectady's Stockade, the Festival of Nations will be the main attraction. The festival has something for everyone and is a good way to celebrate all of the great municipalities along the Erie Canal.

A photo contest will also be part of the festivities. This is open to all amateur and professional photographers. The winning photos will be displayed in Collins Park and photographers will receive cash prizes.

The weekend will kick off at Schenectady Yacht Club with a "Barge Bash" on Friday night. "Barge Bash" will serve up a "Taste of the Island," dinner including cocktails, appetizers, and a buffet. Advance purchase tickets for the dinner are available while admission to Canalfest is free.

For information about Canalfest, including a calendar of events, visit www.lock7-12canalfest.com or call 1-800-743-7337.""

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