Another amazing day at Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival

The Buffalo Fire Department fire boat Edward M. Cotter leads in the Boat Parade of Lights Sunday.

Every year the Sunday is usually the best day for visitors to Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival in Port Colborne, 2018 was no different as crowds of people descended on the city to celebrate the 40th year of the festival.

“It looks like it’s another record year,” Michelle Cuthbert, corporate communications officer City of Port Colborne, said.

At Sugarloaf Marina, the Friends of Port Colborne Lighthouses have been busy with tours since Friday.

“It’s going really well,” Cheryl Fortin of Friends of Port Colborne Lighthouses said. “We’ve had tourists from around the Golden Horseshoe and New York state coming out for a tour.”

Inner lighthouse tours continue on Monday.

“We’ve had really great weather and great lake conditions for the tours,” she said.

“Most of our boats going out have been filled right up.”

The tours continue Monday Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“People may want to come out early for the tour,” Fortin said. “Then they can fit in other activities for the afternoon.”

The tour takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half.

“We talk about the lighthouses, give people the history of the lighthouses,” she said. People can climb to the top and take some wonderful scenic photos including taking pictures of these wonderful vessels that are sailing by.”

The Canal Days Car Show drew a large crowd to its new venue and according to the social media post by sponsors NAPA Auto Parts, there was over 470 cars in this years’ show.

Eddie Wright won the Mayor’s choice at the 26th annual car show.

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum grounds were full again, people enjoying the casual family atmosphere at the museum.

“It’s just fabulous,” curator Stephanie Powell Baswick said. “I haven’t got the gate records yet today, but, I think we are on par with Saturday’s numbers, maybe even more.”

“We’ve sold out of our ten-cent lemonade which was quite popular with our guests,” she said.

“We had some new entertainment today,” she said. “The NIagara Old Tyme Fiddlers attracted a nice crowd of people.”

The museum had an area for sand sculpturing and included lessons from a local sand sculpturing artist.

“We’ve had a lot of people tell us they have been happy to be here,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of compliments about what a great event this has been.”

One of the popular attractions at the museum is the sandboxes.

“We have sandboxes for the kids, under a year old, they’re finding dinosaur eggs,” Powell Baswick said.

They even had sand sculpture lessons in one of the sandboxes for the older kids.

The museum will be open for Monday, the grounds and the buildings are open to the public.

Sunday night, downtown was packed with thousands of people for the Boat Parade of Lights and the fireworks display.

Monday the festival wraps up with Elvis tribute artist Tim ‘E’ and Beatles tribute artists The Caverners in concert at H.H. Knoll Lakeview Park, gates open at 11 a.m. The annual Port Colborne and District Duck Race takes place in the canal at 3 p.m. The visiting vessels will remain until about 4 p.m. and the food vendors and kids zone will be in operation until about 4 p.m.

Information for the festival and Monday’s activities can be found on the Canal Days website:

Dockside tours of visiting vessels including the Lettie G. Howard, will continue Monday.



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