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Canal boat replica pays visit to B'ville

Tours offered of 1862 "Lois McClure"

Some special guests from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will be helping Baldwinsville to celebrate 100 years of operation for Canal Lock 24.

These special guests are the captain and crew of the "Lois McClure," a historic replica 1862 canal boat with sails. The sails are used on open water, such as Lake Ontario, and the masts are unstopped for travel through the canals.

Free tours of this schooner will be offered August 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m and August 14 from 10 a.m. to 6p.m.

The Baldwinsville visit is a stop on the Lois McClure's 1,000-mile journey titled "Our Shared Heritage: World Canals Tour." Tours of the boat with interpretive presentations, wayside exhibits and educational materials will be provided free to the public at each stop.

The majestic 88-foot canal schooner is sailing from her home port on Lake Champlain to visit 20 historic ports-of-call along the Erie Canal and the New York State Canal System. The canal tour will culminate in September with a trip to the World Canals Conference in Rochester. The 2010 journey is a follow up to the successful 2007 "Grand Canal Journey", during which more then 30,000 people from around the state and world stepped aboard and back in time.

The Baldwinsville visit is also one of several "Barge Into Baldwinsville" events, organized by an ad hoc committee to celebrate the centennial of Lock 24 and its prominent role in Baldwinsville's history. The Barge Into Baldwinsville Committee lists several events on its web page, bargeintobville.wordpress.com, including canal-themed concerts by reknowned Buffalo Dave Ruch (August 19) and Baldwinsville's Community Band (August 11).

Events will peak on August 28 with Barge Into Baldwinsville Day. The celebration will kick off with a boat parade at dusk on Friday, August 27. Saturday's activities will start with a foot parade along Genesee Street, ending on Paper Mill Island, where performances and festivities continue all day.

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