Schenectady County residents invited to make a splash

Schenectady County residents will have another chance to celebrate the area's historic canal this weekend with the Canal Corporation's Canal Splash.

Canal Splash is a statewide collection of events along the canal, which bring together the people, history and heritage of the area.

From Friday, Aug. 11 through Sunday, Aug 13, all 525 miles of the state's canal system will be bustling with activities. In Schenectady County, residents will have the opportunity to enjoy concerts, exhibits, festivals and barbecues.

According to the New York State Canal Corporation's Director Carmella Mantello, last year's first Canal Splash included more than 80 events statewide and brought out more than 80,000 people. This year Mantello is expecting more than 100 events and at least 100,000 people.

Mantello said the Canal Splash is an opportunity for residents of Upstate New York to celebrate the canal's rich history, but also to look at the canal as an avenue for change and economic revitalization.

There is so much history and heritage along the canal, but more importantly, this is about the future, Mantello said. "What these communities along the canal are doing is making the canal the front door to their tourism and economic revitalization efforts."

"This celebration is another mark and testament that the canal is alive and breathing and not just sitting there in terms of historical significance," Mantello added. "It has future significance and will be the economic engine for Upstate New York."

In Schenectady County, events begin on Saturday, Aug. 11, with tours of the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction. Mabee Farm Director Pat Barrot said tours will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost $3.

After touring the Mabee Farm, residents can venture to the Keepers of the Circle next door and enjoy a chicken barbecue for $8. Keepers of the Circle is a nonprofit organization that teaches Native American culture.

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