By DON GLYNN email@example.com
Niagara Gazette — The annual Niagara Boom Days — a traditional salute to the start of more pleasant weather — is slated Saturday with an open house from 6 to 10 p.m. at the LaSalle Yacht Club, 78 South 68th St.
Terry Lasher-Winslow, chair of LaSalle Pride and a coordinator for the event, said it will be the first time that Boom Days are celebrated while the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom still is in place, south of the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont.
The boom, expected to be removed within the next couple of weeks, is a series of floating steel pontoons. 30 feet long and 30 inches in diameter. There are 22 spans overall in the boom, each with up to 11 pontoons anchored to the bottom of the lake at 400-foot intervals by 2 1/2-inch steel cables. A stable ice cover forms in front of the boom, which allows water to keep flowing toward the falls and the intakes to the plants that generate hydropower.
Lasher-Winslow, the master of ceremonies for Boom Days, said the program will include an evening of dance, food service and displays. Admission is free but a $5 donation is requested to help defray the costs. The Jazzline Band formed by Jennifer May will provide the music.
Re-enactors including Cavalier LaSalle and Father Louis Hennepin will lead a party of canoes and kayaks in paddling downstream to open the festivities. The party plans to depart at 6 p.m. from the Griffin Park Dry Docks (near the future home of a canoe launch). Anyone with a canoe or kayak and properly equipped is welcome to join the re-enactors, organizers said.
Exhibitors for the event will include by Scout Troop 841; LaSalle Pride; the regional state parks commission; the Niagara Falls City Planning Department; the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission; and Northtown KIA.