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Canalside kicks off summer activities

With Memorial Day weekend bringing with it the unofficial start to the summer season, summertime activities are getting underway at one of Buffalo's hottest visitor destinations.

A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held Friday morning at Canalside, where activities including paddle boats, remote controlled model boats and bicycles for rent are now available to the public.

Numerous local dignitaries were on hand to speak in praise of Canalside, which sits on the site of the former Memorial Auditorium.

"I just got off the Queen City Bike Ferry, and what I heard from the crew I hear over and over," said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. "They never thought they'd see this in their lifetime."

Numerous speakers praised the public sector effort to finally convert the former Memorial Auditorium site into the current network of bridges and waterways which have become a symbol of the city's economic rebirth.

Sam Hoyt, who is regional president of Empire State Development, saluted the workforce who took part in the construction.

"Everyone who laid a shovel in the ground, carved the stone, built one of the bridges, has a reason to be proud and has a place they can take their children to and say 'I helped build that great destination in Buffalo'," Hoyt said.

Nearby on Canalside's boardwalk, visitors were walking along the waterfront as numerous carnival rides sat staged and prepared for a full holiday weekend of operation.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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