CanalFest begins Friday

I t’s time for a carnival.
Whitehall’s annual Canal Festival returns to the Skenesborough Harbor Park on Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12.
The Canal Festival has been one of Whitehall’s ways of providing entertainment for residents for over three decades. According to the committee the event was originally planned as a form of entertainment for residents who did not leave the town frequently and from there it has grown in to an annual festival.
This year’s Canal Festival offers a variety of different activities, to be enjoyed by a vast array of people. This year’s festival will include different food, rides, live music and fireworks.
Friday’s festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with a Cake Booth and midway rides by Kelley, which will be open until the end of the festival at 9 p.m.
Steel Pier Jazz Band will perform live music at the picnic shelter, starting at 7 p.m. and running until the evening’s conclusion.
The band, which used to play for the Lake George cruise boats, falls into the genre of old time jazz. The members are predominately retired and strive to bring ‘dixieland’ to their listeners.
Saturday’s portion of the festival gets started with a chicken barbecue at noon.
“There will be a few different food vendors there on Saturday,” Canal Festival Committee Member James Aiken said.
There will also be vendors and a dessert booth in the park, before the activities get underway at 4:30 p.m.
Wing’s Clydesdale Carriage Rides will be available, free of charge starting at 4:30 p.m. and will run until 7:30 p.m.
“The carriages will take you down through downtown, they will go down Main Street, over by the locks and back to the park,” Aiken said.
As the carriage rides conclude, the Dirty Boars will take the amphitheatre stage. The Dirty Boars bring some of their own original music to the stage, as well as covers from artists of varying decades, such as ZZ Top, Michael Jackson, Stone Temple Pilots and the Black Keys.
The band consists of PJ Ferguson as lead vocalist, Chris Scott supplying backup vocals and guitar and a rhythm section made up of John Carl Smith and Zack Plude. The Dirty Boars will be performing for their hometown audience until 9:30 p.m.
At 9:30, the festival begins to come to an end, as the fireworks display concludes the night.

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