Erie Canal bicentennial events planned for Lockport and beyond

Apr 27, 2017

New York State is planning to commemorate this year's 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Erie Canal with a series of major events along the waterway.

Credit W. Roberts, from Marco Paul's Voyages & Travels, Erie Canal by Jacob Abbott, 1852

The state Canal Corp. announced Thursday that it will host three premier events: in Lockport, near the waterway's western end; in Waterford, at the canal's eastern terminus; and Rome in central New York, where construction began on July 4, 1817.

The yearlong celebration kicks off May 19 in Waterford, near Albany. The next big event is July 8 at Lockport's set of locks known as the Flight of Five. The third major event is scheduled for July 22 in Rome, where the "first dig" will be re-enacted. Other events are scheduled into September.

The 1825 opening of the canal connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River spurred the nation's westward expansion.