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Lysander town board agrees to give $500 to 'Barge into Baldwinsville'

The Lysander Town Board agreed at its July 26 meeting to contribute $500 toward Barge into Baldwinsville celebrations planned for August.

The festivities are being organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Lock 24 on the Erie Canal in Baldwinsville and will include activities at Paper Mill Island and a parade on Barge into Baldwinsville Day on Aug. 28.

"It gives us a chance to toot Baldwinsville's horn in a very unique way," said Sue McManus, chair of the Barge into Baldwinsville Committee. "A day to be out in the middle of the Seneca River, which is the reason we're here anyway. Lock 24 was the first lock to be opened on the new and improved Erie Canal."

McManus appeared before the Lysander Town board to request the funding. Lysander joins the Town of Van Buren and the Village of Baldwinsville in supporting the celebrations, she said. Each municipality contributed $500, she said.

The money will help fund celebrations on Aug. 11, 13, 14, 27 and 28, McManus said. The Baldwinsville Community Band will play at the Baldwinsville Visitor's Center at 7 p.m. on Aug. 11.

A replica 1862 Schooner, the Lois McClure, will be moored near the visitor's center Aug. 13 and 14, McManus said. Free tours will be offered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 13 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 14. And a twilight boat parade will be held on the Seneca River from Cooper's Marina to the dam near the lock on Aug. 27.

Finally, Barge into Baldwinsville Day is slated for Aug. 28. A parade is scheduled for 11 a.m., and Paper Mill Island will host exhibits, children's activities, food and entertainment from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Again, admission is free.

The Barge into Baldwinsville Committee expects to spend $2,500 to cover the August activities, McManus said. In addition to the $1,500 from the municipalities, it received $500 from the Greater Baldwinsville Economic Development Agency. It is also selling shirts, buttons and photos to raise money and received donations from organizations including the Beauchamp Club, Baldwinsville Public Library and Shacksboro Schoolhouse.

The town board voted 4-0 to support the events, with Councilor Jack Krisanda absent.

"We sponsor concerts, we do a lot of things," said Brian May, councilor.

Supervisor Barry Bullis agreed.

"It's a hundredth anniversary," he said. "It's a big one."

Lock 24, which first opened on May 9, 1910, was rededicated earlier this year on May 12 by Carmella Mantello, director of the New York State Canal Corporation.

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