Canalside canals to be converted into roller rink

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Buffalo Waterfront Management Group (BWMG) today announced that the canals at Canalside will be converted into a giant roller rink that will open on August 20 and roll through the fall season to October 31. At more than 30,000 square feet, the Roller Rink at Canalside, in partnership with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, will be the largest outdoor roller-skating rink in New York State. The seasonal attraction, which will host community and school groups, themed skate nights and be free before 5 p.m. on Fridays, will add to the diverse offering of low-cost, family-friendly programming available at Canalside.  Admission is $6 per adult and $2 for children age 13 and younger.  Roller skate rentals will be $4.  The water in the canals will be drained on August 9th to set up for this exciting new addition on Buffalo’s waterfront. The new logo for the Roller Rink at Canalside can be seen here.

“Get ready to lace up and roll at Canalside,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “For those around in the 70s at the height of the roller disco era, you know how much fun a pair of polyurethane wheels and good tunes can be, and roller skating is seeing a resurgence as a fun activity for all ages.  We’re thrilled to bring this new attraction to the community on Buffalo’s waterfront.”

“The Roller Rink at Canalside will be the place to be this fall, and another example of the diverse range of offerings available on Buffalo’s waterfront to the Western New York community and those visiting from afar. With a full line up of programming, the Roller Rink at Canalside is sure to provide plenty of fun for all ages,” said Kevin Parkinson, VP Operations and Finance, BWMG.  “We are thrilled to partner with Highmark BCBS of WNY and with their support provide accessible, healthy activities to our community."

Hours of Operation

August 20, 2021 - September 6, 2021

  • Mondays-Thursday: Noon to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays: Noon to 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

September 7, 2021 – October 31, 2021

  • Mondays-Tuesdays: Closed (except the holiday on Monday, October 11: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Wednesdays-Thursdays: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Roller Rink at Canalside will be a place for Buffalo-area children and families to come and experience a new sport for free, or for a low cost, in a fun atmosphere through targeted programming initiatives.  The programs’ focus will be to create a free, outdoor, healthy and active lifestyle environment that will benefit the Western New York community and allow children that might not otherwise be able to experience the roller rink a free and accessible means to do so.

  • Community Skate Program – Buffalo Waterfront Management Group will partner with community programs to bring groups to the roller rink for free skate lessons and free skate.  Tickets to the Roller Rink will also be distributed to the community.
  • Canalside Neighbor Program – Roller skating will be free of charge to Explore & More, Buffalo and Erie Naval & Military Park and Buffalo Heritage Carousel guests on Wednesdays.
  • Free Play Fridays – Roller skating admission will be free of charge before 5 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Themed Skate Nights – Dedicated nights at the roller rink with music, DJs and associated decorations.
  • Vendor Markets – Pop up vendor markets will take place next to the roller rink making the Roller Rink at Canalside a one-stop-shop for fun, food, and shopping.

“As the official health plan of Canalside, we are pleased to bring the fun, healthy and exciting experience of outdoor roller skating to the next generation of Western New Yorkers,” said  Julie R. Snyder, Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “The new Roller Rink will only enhance the Canalside experience for all who visit.”

To learn more about activities and events on the Buffalo waterfront, visit www.buffalowaterfront.com.

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

A nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors governs the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York state governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The Erie County executive and the City of Buffalo mayor hold the two non-voting, ex-officio director positions. For more information on ECHDC, visit https://esd.ny.gov/erie-canal-harbor-development-corporation-0.

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