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Boom Days Buffalo 2018

Buffalo’s Boom Days event is the telltale sign that spring has sprung. The celebratory occasion coincides with the removal of the ice boom from the mouth of the Niagara River. Currently, The International Joint Commission’s International Niagara Board of Control is monitoring the ice around these waters, waiting for the right opportunity to remove the boom. That means that the Boom Days Buffalo celebration is perfectly timed with the removal of the boom in 2018 – the festival is set to take place at multiple venues throughout the Old First Ward neighborhood on Saturday April 7, from 1 pm to 9 pm.

This is the first year that Boom Days is spreading its wings. In past years, the event was mostly held in and around Silo City. But with all of the new developments and advancements underway throughout the Old First Ward, the time has come to take the celebration to the next level.

One of the highlights of Boom Days is the Ice Boom Ball Drop, when organizers and revelers drop two giant orange balls over the side of the E.M. Cotter, the world’s oldest operating fireboat. From there the brilliant spheres float down the Niagara River, signaling to all that party season has begun.

“Its our region’s unique way to be thankful for the end of our strong winter and welcome spring,” said Rick Smith of Silo City, who, along with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and others, put together the first Boom Days celebration in 2001. “We encourage everyone to go out and get next to our waterways and celebrate the amazing places in the historic and regenerating First Ward!”

“It is exciting to have activities hosted for Boom Days throughout the neighborhood as a way of celebrating our connection to the river and the start of spring,” Old First Ward Community Center Board President Sara Heidinger added.

Some of the event highlights include:

  • The Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic St., Buffalo) and Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery (580 South Park Ave., Buffalo) will host family-friendly activities and performances from 1 pm to 4 pm, including the Buffalo Zoomobile, the Buffalo & Erie County Library on Wheels, Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Preserve, and programming by Young Audiences of Western New York. 
  • Waterfront Memories and More museum at Mutual Riverfront Park (41 Hamburg St., Buffalo) will be open for visitors.
  • At 4 pm The Buffalo Brass Machine will lead the way as the “boom ball” will be rolled from the community center to Riverfront Park and launched into the Buffalo River. All are welcome to join the parade!
  • From 5 pm to 8:30 pm live music from the Blues Society of WNY and the Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation will be happening at The Barrel Factory (65 Vandalia St., Buffalo) and Gene McCarthy’s (73 Hamburg St., Buffalo).  There will be food and drink specials at these locations and Undergrounds as well.
  • Fireworks will light up the sky at 8:30 pm; they can be seen from Riverfront Park and the streets around the Old First Ward.

The full list of events, times, and locations can be found at All events are free and open to all.

Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery (580 South Park Ave., Buffalo)

1:00 – 4:00         Buffalo & Erie County Library on Wheels

The Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic St., Buffalo)

1:00 – 4:00         Buffalo Zoomobile

                             Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve

                             WNY STEM

                             1-2: Paint to Pixel: Ways of Seeing Art in Mathematics (Young Audiences of WNY)

                             2-3: Mama Earths Kitchen Show Band (Young Audiences of WNY)

                             2-3: One Page Collage Creations (Young Audiences of WNY)

                             3-4: Drums: Musical Languages that Bring Us Together (Young Audiences of WNY) 

Waterfront Memories & More Museum (41 Hamburg St., Buffalo)

Open for visitors 

Rolling of the Boom Ball

4:00 – 5:00         From Old First Ward Community Center to Mutual River Front Park (41 Hamburg St.)

The Buffalo Brass Machine

                             Boom Ball Roll & Launch

                             Edward M. Cotter Fireboat (weather permitting)

The Barrel Factory (65 Vandalia St., Buffalo)

5:30 – 7:00         The Thurman Brothers (Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation)

7:00 – 8:30         The Panfil Brothers (Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation)

9:00 – 10:30       Willie May Blues Band (Blues Society of Western New York)

Gene McCarthy’s (73 Hamburg St., Buffalo)

7:00 – 8:30         Owen Eichensehr (Blues Society of Western New York)

9:00 – 11:00       Black and Blues Band

Boom Days Buffalo 2018

Saturday April 7, 2018

1 pm to 9 pm

Multiple venues within the Old First Ward

All events are free and open to all

Boom Days is sponsored by Rigidized Metals, Silo City, The Public, and Young Audiences of Western New York, and is coordinated by Tod A. Kniazuk

See Facebook event

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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