Today marks the official launching of the boats on Gala Waters (Hoyt Lake) in Delaware Park. A ceremonial event held earlier today coincided with Flag Day, so if was decided that the perfect launch festivities would be to have Americana songs sung by the third grade chorus at PS#64 Frederick Law Olmsted School.
Also present at the ceremony were ladies from the Theodore Roosevelt Site dressed in period costumes and members of the Buffalo Maritime Center who brought along historic recreations of boats that were once found on the Buffalo Waterfront. One of the boats was a sailing skiff – that sight alone was a vision to behold, mainly because it is so unusual to see a boat sailing on Gala Waters. As luck would have it there was a terrific breeze out on the lake. Don’t be surprised to find some of these beautiful recreations out on Gala Waters throughout the summer (learn more).
To the surprise of many, there was also a guest appearance by students from the Charter School for Applied Technology (located in Riverside – close to the Buffalo Maritime Center). The 25 students (lead photo – bottom right) will be building six boats for their senior project and then selling the crafts to raise funds for the school’s technology program. The Buffalo Maritime Center plans on turning its relationship with the school into a longterm partnership.
The boating program on Gala Waters has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Delaware North – a company that coincidentally got its start by running concessions at the exact spot where the ceremony was held today. It’s great to see that original vision coming back full circle.
The Buffalo Maritime Center will manage the 2012 boat rental season running on Gala Waters through Labor Day. Row boats will be available weekends at $10 per half-hour, with expanded hours in July and August. Members of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy boat for free. Visit www.bfloparks.org for more information.