One of the biggest annual events in Western New York has been canceled this year. 

Canal Fest is held in North Tonawanda, typically every year, though the pandemic gave the festival some challenges. This year, many Western New Yorkers were excited to hear that the week-long event would return as normal this July…especially since it was canceled last year. 

However, the Canal Fest website has not been updated with much information for 2023. 

The homepage says, “Canal Fest 2023, July 16th thru the 23th, Welcoming Back Our Canal Fest Parade!

As you scroll through the website, you will see this message: “You can expect a new look and feel to this year’s event.  Our campus layout will be changing with a new refreshing atmosphere.  More music, new foods, same good time! So, stay tuned for updates.”

Unfortunately, our update is not what we hoped: the Canal Fest for this year, which would have been their 40th, has been canceled.

After the Canal Fest parade was canceled in 2022, Rick Maier, the Canal Fest Vice President, posted the reasons on Facebook. 

Maier said that a major reason behind the cancellations last year was “due to budget constraints and very low registration numbers.”

Although Maier and his team were trying to bring Canal Fest as we know it back this year, it appears that they are opting for a year off. 

The Canal Fest organizers said they were canceling the 2023 event to “rebrand and restructure.” 

But next year – get ready, because it’s going to be their big 40th celebration, and the plans are already underway for 2024.

“Exciting new events, attractions, and entertainment plans are being made now to make the 40th CANAL FEST like no other you’ve ever seen,” a news release said. 

Like most great things, they take time, so we’ll have to wait one more year before Canal Fest returns. 

The 2024 event will take place from July 14-21.

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