This Saturday, September 14th, brings another free and inclusive Maritime Heritage Fest Bike Stampede, a ride tied to the second annual Buffalo Maritime Heritage Festival. This two-day festival presented by Buffalo Maritime Center will again take place in Lasalle Park in and around the Colonel Ward Pumping Station, a rare chance to see inside this historic structure that still manages our municipal water supply. 

Starting at 1pm, our 10-mile roundtrip route will include the West Side, Black Rock, and stops at the Riverside home of the Maritime Center as well as the Canalside future site of a 73-foot packet boat they’re building, returning to enjoy the festival. 

Festival details from the Maritime Center:

OUTSIDE THE PUMPING STATION, throughout the weekend, see aluminum pours courtesy of the Buffalo Maritime Center’s Foundry, enjoy food trucks, a beer tent with local brews, Niagara Chapter Antique & Classic Boat Society vintage wooden power boats, demonstrations by NYS Designer Blacksmiths, hand made canoes, along with activities for kids and more…. **This is all FREE to the public**

INSIDE THE PUMPING STATION, there will be a “Creators & Makers Market” with vendors along the balcony surrounding the largest collection of vertical, triple expansion, steam pump engines in the world! Expect spectacular up-close views of these industrial steam pumps towering nearly five stories high!

COST: All outside events are free and open to the public. Experience the pumps and the Creators & Makers Market inside the Colonel Ward Pumping Station will have a $10 registration fee. All proceeds will benefit programming at the Buffalo Maritime Center – a nonprofit organization.

*Pre-registration not required.

Learn more below from Buffalo Maritime Center director Brian Trzeciak.

What inspired the creation of the Maritime Heritage Festival?

We all wanted to host an event where the community of Buffalo and the surrounding area could join us as we pay homage to our maritime heritage and the work of our local craftsmen and women. Not to mention, we had a wonderful opportunity to partner up with the great folks at the Colonel Ward Pumping Station. It was an incredible chance to have the community see these larger-than-life steam engines which are such a symbol of Buffalo’s industrial history. The festival has since grown and even if you came by last year, there will be much more to see on the inside of the Pumping Station and outside as well! We’re going to have live metal pours, blacksmith demonstrations, activities for kids, beer from Pressure Drop Brewery for the adults, and so much more. 

Photo by Seamus Gallivan

How does the festival serve the mission of the Maritime Center?

Our mission is based on promoting craftsmanship and preserving maritime heritage, and everything that we do in our shop at 90 Arthur Street is tied into those two key ideas. The Buffalo Maritime Heritage Festival shares in the pride of building things and helps to continue that understanding of our vast maritime history. The event ultimately honors the role that craftsmanship and maritime heritage plays in Western New York, and we invite everyone to come to our festival but also to stop by our shop and see what we’re all about.

What inspires you personally to do this work?

I walked into the Buffalo Maritime Center years ago and I never left. I wanted to get back to working with my hands, and in doing so, I fell in love with the place, the people, and the mission. I’m lucky enough to come to work every day to help make the Buffalo Maritime Center a community where hand skills are valued and critical thinking skills are utilized to help build, educate, and problem-solve.

What parts of the festival are you most excited about?

I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces and the jaw-dropping reactions of folks being up close to those colossal steam engines. It’s going to be an amazing weekend, and I’m excited to see you all there!