The Strong to Host Erie Canal Bicentennial Events

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

June 29, 2017

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325,

The Strong Museum to Host Erie Canal Bicentennial 
Celebration Events in Partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation

ROCHESTER, New York—The Strong museum announces plans to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal in partnership with the New York State Canal Corporation. The activities include a public forum about the economic impact and future of the canal on Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m., and two days of family activities on Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16, celebrating the Erie Canal and the Finger Lakes region.

“Few cities have a more tangible connection to the Erie Canal than Rochester. The city and canal have been intertwined for nearly 200 years,” says Brian Stratton, director of the New York State Canal Corporation. “Rochester has the unique ability to tell the story of what the Erie Canal was and what it will become, and we’re pleased to share this story at The Strong.”

The activities at The Strong will be among hundreds of events taking place throughout the state and along the canal to recognize its role in stimulating trade, exploration, and innovation.

Erie Canal Public Forum: The Strong hosts the first of three Erie Canal public forums across the state on Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m. The event—held in conjunction with the New York State Canal Corporation, Rockefeller Institute, and State University of New York—takes place in the theater and includes a keynote address about the current state of the canal system by Stratton and a panel discussion about the future of the system made up of area experts from the worlds of economic development, tourism, and agriculture. The event, which will be introduced by Rochester Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander, will be followed by a private reception for community stakeholders. (The forum is open to the public.)

Erie Canal and Finger Lakes Celebration: On Saturday & Sunday, July 15 and 16, The Strong hosts a weekend of family activities included with general museum admission fees. Staff from the Canal Corporation will show off the mechanics involved in operating the Erie Canal on Saturday with an interactive demonstration of a model lock. All weekend long, guests can get up close to a mule named Sal, play the spoons, and sing along to tunes inspired by the man-made water channel. Guests will also be able to discover how museums and communities from all over the state celebrate the canal with festivals and exhibits. Activities included with general museum admission.

About The Strong

The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2017, New York will celebrate the bicentennial for the start of the Erie Canal’s construction. Like Canals on Facebook at NYS Canal Corporation. Follow Canals on Twitter at @NYSCanalCorp.