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Grand Aqueduct Celebration planned for May 22

Just a year ago, crews began working to restore the Camillus aqueduct on DeVoe Road. On Saturday May 22 the community will celebrate the completion of the historical project with the Grand Aqueduct Celebration at the Camillus Erie Canal Park.

David and Liz Beebe and the dedicated group of Erie Canal park volunteers began planning the celebration last fall as the aqueduct project was completed. The event will run in conjunction with the annual Towpath Day, and offers area residents an opportunity to view and learn more about the aqueduct, the canal and their importance in the history of the Camillus community and beyond.

Free parking is available with a shuttle service from Reed Webster Park on Route 173/Warners Road, and from the Dept. of Transportation at DeVoe Road. Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit eriecanalcamillus.com.

Grand Aqueduct Celebration schedule of events

7 to 11 a.m. All-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast at the Camillus Elks Club, 6117 Newport Road, to benefit the canal. Sponsored by the Greater Camillus Chamber of Commerce, Camillus Rotary and Elks Club

10 a.m.: Flute group from West Genesee High School by Sims Store

10:30 a.m.: Flotilla (Boat Parade) will begin with the steam whistle blowing

10:45 a.m.: Land and Boat Parade crosses over the aqueduct

Among the groups providing entertainment at the aqueduct will be Merry Mischief, the West Genesee High School Band, Open Hand Theater, Syracuse Pipe Band and the 122 NYVI reenactment group

At a booth near the aqueduct, the U.S. Postal Service will feature a special cancellation stamp in honor of this occasion. A pony express rider will take letters written by fourth graders from Sims to the postal service booth by aqueduct

11 a.m.: Official Ceremonies: Chris Brandolino, master of ceremonies. Among the guest speakers will be Carmella Mantello, director of Canal Corporation; Tom Grasso, president of the Canal Society State of New York; former Congressman Jim Walsh; New York State Senator John DeFrancisco; Assemblymen Will Barclay and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission chair Joseph Callahan.

Noon: Towpath Day will open with traditional activities featuring demonstrations, crafters, Steam-up, Kids stuff with Make and Take items,raffles and good food

12 to 3 p.m.: Marcellus Blue Grass Apple Pickers Association

1 to 2 p.m.: Morris Dancers

2 p.m.: Sarah Irene McGee, Historical Potatoes Snackbar

3 to 4 p.m.: Bells and Motley perform "Fifteen Years on the Erie Canal" on the pole barn stage

6 p.m.: Chicken BBQ catered by Ernie's; $10 at the pavilion

7:30 p.m.: Lock 53 Jazz Band at the aqueduct site

9:15 p.m.: Fireworks

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