PALMYRA — In its 46th year, Palmyra Canaltown Days, say organizers, is bigger and better than ever.
“I'm very excited that we're able to put Canaltown Days on again this year,” said Canaltown Days Committee Chairman Tom Klemann. “This is our 46th year and we really enjoy celebrating our canal heritage and highlighting all that make Palmyra a special place. I'm especially appreciative of the many efforts of all those involved. Without all of them this would not be possible.”
This year’s festival, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 and 15, will feature over 120 craft vendors, food booths and antique booths open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
“I'm looking forward to another great weekend and keeping my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates again,” Klemann added. “This year we'll have several new vendors in both Crafts & Market Square and some new food offerings as well.”
The event kicks off with the annual favorite horse-drawn wagon rides at 10 a.m. and the Antique and Classic Car Show at 11 a.m. The day will feature the Canal Walking Tour at 11 a.m., pony rides, a chicken barbecue and an ox roast. The car show is sponsored by Finger Lakes Street Machines. Vehicles will line up on Main Street and admission is free.
Entertainment for the day includes the Towpath Volunteers, the Palmyra Macedon Select Choir, Eva and the Dog Boys, Paul Strowe, the Palmyra Macedon Conservatory of Dance and the F.O.G. (Freakin’ Old Guys). Just before the Grand Parade, see a performance by the Hit Men and Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corps at the grandstand. After the parade, Prime Time Brass performs at the reviewing stand.
“The Grand Parade is always a highlight for me, and I believe we're expecting upwards of 15 bands this year,” Klemann said. “We're also happy to welcome back the Civil War Encampment this year.”
On the west lawn of the Zion Episcopal Church, visitors will find an authentic Civil War period encampment. There will also be drill and firing demonstrations throughout the weekend. The Twenty-Eighth New York Volunteer Infantry is a Civil War era re-enacting group dedicated to recreating and remembering the lives of men from the upstate New York area who fought to preserve the Union during the war.
Breakfast will be served Sunday morning from 7 to 10 a.m. The Canaltown Days 5k run/walk starts at 9 a.m. Proceeds from the race support the local Palmyra Canaltown Days festival. Registration is $20, and check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the corner of Market and Division streets. Prizes include $50 for the first overall male and female. Non-cash awards will be given to the first overall Masters (40+) male and female participants and the top-three male and female age group finishers.
The horse-drawn wagon and carriage parade will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m., starting at the fairgrounds and moving down Main Street. The nostalgic demonstration of horses, wagons, carriages and people will be an attempt to depict the role horses played in transportation during the early canal era.
Sunday’s entertainment includes the Pal-Mac Jazz Ensemble, Fiddlers of the Genesee and The Rhythm Aces, all playing in the park.
“There's always something for everyone,” Klemann said, “so we're looking forward to people coming out and enjoying the weekend.”