BUFFALO, NY- If you are still trying to decide where you'll catch one of the region's many fireworks displays for the Fourth of July, you may want to consider Canal Side.
"It's a big day for us," said Tom Dee, President of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. "We're looking at probably 10,000 people to join us down here. It's going to be a parade of people as it always is."
Quizmaster Dennis George begins the festivities with Buffalo Trivia at 6 p.m. Also from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Explore and More Museum will offer various children's activities. There will be a flag folding ceremony at 7 p.m., followed by the George Scott Big Band of the Colored Musicians Club at 7:30. At 9 p.m. is the Jim Tudini Big Band, and finally the fireworks begin at 10:15 p.m.
"A fabulous display. It's going to be very similar to what we did last year. We had a great response from last year's event. It's probably the single biggest day we have of the year in terms of how many people show up and how much fun it is. It's a great day," said Dee.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, 425 events will be held at Canal Side and they're expected to draw 500,000 people. Dee says it's easy to see the development.
"We see the Donovan Building. We see the shell of that building. We see the Benderson Corporation doing a great job with Phillips Lytle and the Marriot with their tenants. We see the Webster Block, the city of Buffalo, receiving RFPs to advance that building. And then we have the great success story at the Liberty Hound. And then we have the Aud Block where we're digging out right now the public canals which will be great because it will be created in the historic alignment of the Erie Canal. So progress is all around us."
So for those who haven't been down here to see all that progress, Dee says Independence day is the perfect day to do it.
"The great thing I hear from the public is, 'it doesn't feel like Buffalo.' I think that's a compliment of course, but I'd rather have them say I feel like I'm on vacation."
Parking will be available in paid lots and ramps in and around the First Niagara Center, and the MetroRail is another option. Coolers are not allowed on the grounds, but folding chairs and blankets are welcome. Food and beverage will be available for purchase on site.
Buffalo's Official Fourth of July Celebration will take place on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at Canalside. This free-to-the-public event will feature some of Buffalo's best talent and a fabulous fireworks display over the Buffalo River in celebration of Independence Day.
Performance Schedule is as follows:
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Childrens Activities with Explore & More Children's Museum and clowns with balloon art and face painting.
6:00 p.m. - Buffalo Trivia with Quizmaster Dennis George.
7:00 p.m. - Flag Folding Ceremony
7:30 p.m. - The George Scott Big Band of the Colored Musicians Club
9:00 p.m. - The Jim Tudini Big Band with Ben Baia & Elena Cala and Special Guest Bella Buscarino
10:15 p.m. - Fireworks over the Buffalo River