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Welcoming Spring With Boom Days

Spring is finally here and the city will be ready to welcome its arrival this weekend with Boom Days, the local celebration that coincides with the lifting of the Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom.  

The celebration kicks off this evening, Friday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. with the Boom Days Ball Race. 

The competitors: Harry’s Harbour Place Grille, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, and Templeton Landing.

The challenge: launching three five-foot in diameter balls over the side of the world’s oldest operating fireboat, the E.M. Cotter, and into the Niagara River. Whichever restaurant’s ball is the first to go over Niagara Falls will be giving out specials to all the guests who join them at their restaurant that evening. You can take advantage of the Boom Days food and drink specials going on at these three locations from 6-9 p.m.  97 Rock will also be following the progress of the race.

The fun will continue with a Boom Days party at McCarthy’s Restaurant, located at 73 Hamburg Street.  Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper will be hosting, with live music, food, fireworks and plenty of Flying Bison’s Ice Boom Bock.  Admission to the party is $10 and will get you food, one drink and an evening full of live entertainment.

On Saturday, April 16, Riverkeeper, the Buffalo Sabres Green Team and over 1500 volunteers will be continuing the springtime celebration with a massive cleanup effort.  From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. they will be tackling 77,000 linear feet of shoreline. Anyone who joins the effort will receive a free stainless steel water bottle and is welcome to participate in the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic after the cleanup concludes. There will also be a photo contest for those participating in the shoreline sweep. Volunteers are encouraged to take pictures of their most unusual finds and share them on Facebook and Twitter.  The winner will receive a free rain barrel.

Those interested in volunteering can call 852-RIVER ext. 19 or register on the Riverkeeper website.  For updates on the festivities, check out the Riverkeeper Facebook page.

Photo: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and other officials launching boom ball, 2009.

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