Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon


Posted in:

Buffalo River Fest: Your Chance to take a ride on the world’s Oldest Operational Fireboat

The 17th Annual Buffalo River Fest will feature a very special surprise this year. As part of the wide-ranging festivities, the EM Cotter Fireboat will be offering rides to the public. The Cotter is the world’s oldest operational fireboat, which in of itself is amazing. Due to a number of reasons, the craft only makes occasional voyages throughout the summer, and rarely offers up tours to the public. That means that this is an opportunity that you are not going to want to miss. The tours are a ton of fun, especially if the fireboat lets loose its water cannons. See below for full details.

Proceeds from the Buffalo River Fest will benefit Buffalo River Fest Park including capital maintenance, utilities, insurance, dock maintenance, and grounds maintenance.

Aside from all of the excitement that goes hand-in-hand with a ride on The Cotter, Buffalo River Fest is also a lot of fun. The festival takes place in and around River Fest Park on the Buffalo River.

These days, this area along the river is filled with mixed-use development projects, bike trails, public parks, breweries, etc. There’s so much to see and do!

There are also plenty of family-friendly events and activities planned during Buffalo River Fest, including:

  • Fun water related activities for the entire family all weekend long
  • A kids’ area on Saturday
  • Historic walking tours
  • Waterfront Memories & More Museum waterfront memorabilia display
  • Vendors and crafters
  • Plenty of food and beverages

The Rigidized River Fest Regatta – Come roll down the Buffalo River on Saturday, June 17th.  Participants can paddle their traditional canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board or let their inner “First Mate” come out and create a homemade watercraft.  In the “Build Your Own Boat” category there are no restrictions or limitations other than your imagination.  Get ready to paddle, as the 6 mile canoe and kayak races start from Harlem/Clinton and the “float your boats” 3 mile canoe and kayak races will start from the Smith Street Pocket Park at the foot of Smith Street.  Launch time for both sites is 11am.  All vessels will end at the DEC Canoe Launch on Ohio Street.  Participant check in will begin at 10am at each site, with the boats taking to the water at 11am.  The entry fee is $30 per boat pre-sale ($35 the day of the event) for “Build Your Own” boats and $20 per boat presale ($25 the day of the event) for kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.  There will be awards for each category! There are cash prizes for both “Most Creative Vessel” and “Best Built Vessel” in the “Build Your Own Boat” category. The “Most Creative Vessel” also wins the coveted 12th Annual Wilkeson Cup. Shuttle service for participants will be available as well. For more information and applications call 716-849-4780, visit, or “like” Rigidized River Fest Regatta on Facebook.


Live Entertainment– Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to listen to some of the top bands and entertainers in Western New York. Live entertainment will be taking place all weekend and includes Alfie Alesandra and Breakaway (Friday), Mike Nugent, Bleeding Hearts, and Hit N Run (Saturday), and Screaming Pineapples (Sunday).


Waterfront Photo & Memorabilia Expo –See pictures, artifacts, and memorabilia from the Buffalo Waterfront’s Glory Days including the Old First Ward, Valley, Times Beach, grain milling district, and more.


Food and Refreshments – Make sure to come to Buffalo River Fest with an empty stomach and a big appetite!!  We will have all your summer favorites and much more.  Cool down with an ice cold beer in the Beer Tent.  The Tewksbury Lodge will also be open all weekend, serving food and beverages.


Vendors – Come ready to shop from local vendors who will be displaying their wares all weekend.


“I Got It Bingo” – A Buffalo River Fest favorite, “I Got It Bingo” returns with great prizes and games running all night Friday, all day Saturday, and on Sunday.


Kids Area – Bring the kids down on Saturday from 2pm-7pm for lots of fun including games, inflatables, and miniature golf. 


Historic E.M. Cotter Fireboat Rides – Take a cruise aboard a National Historic Landmark – Buffalo’s own E.M. Cotter Fireboat!  Space is extremely limited and only a few spots remain for a ride on Saturday, June 17th at 12pm.  No children under the age of 12 are allowed on the boat and access to the boat is difficult for those with limited mobility.  Call 716-823-4707 ext. 3 to reserve your spot.  Donations are gladly accepted.


“Take Your Dad” Fishing Contest – Spend some quality time with Dad on Father’s Day at the InTomes.Com “Take Your Father Fishing” Contest!  The fishing competition will take place from 11am till 1pm.  Families with children under the age of 14 are welcome to compete for lots of prizes.  Anyone 14 and over will need a fishing license to take part in the event.  The event is free and registration will begin at 10am the day of the event.  Putt Putt golf will be available after the contest for family fun.

The 17th Annual Buffalo River Fest

The event will be held from 5pm to Midnight on Friday, from 11am to Midnight on Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday at Buffalo River Fest Park, located at 249 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY, near Michigan Avenue.

For more information on the 17th Annual Buffalo River Fest or on the Valley Community Association visit, “like” Buffalo River Fest Park and the Valley Community Center on Facebook, follow on Twitter @VCAssociation or @BfloRFPark, or call 716-823-4707 ext. 2.

The EM Cotter Fireboat will give rides to the public on Friday June, 16th on 5:30pm and 7:30pm and on Saturday, June 17th at 12pm and 3pm.  No children under the age of 12 are allowed on the boat and access to the boat is difficult for those with limited mobility.  Call 716-823-4707 ext. 3 to reserve your spot.  Donations are gladly accepted.

Sponsored by Rigidized Metals, PVS Chemical, The Krog Group & Renova Partners, Irish Propane & Irish Carbonic, Gerdau Metals Recycling, Via Evaluation, PDI Cone – Dutch Treat, Johnson Fastener Corporation, Larkin Service, and Arcara Zucarelli Lensa & Associates.

See Facebook event for details

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

View All Articles by Buffalo Rising
Hide Comments
Show Comments