Niagara Falls New Years Eve

niagara falls fireworks photo

Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2016/2017 in Niagara Falls at the Concert in the Park featuring live performances by performances by High Valley, Serena Ryder and Sam Roberts Band, and local band James Blonde.

This year’s concert at Queen Victoria Park starts at 8pm, with fireworks displays at 9pm and Midnight!

Festivities at last year’s 2016 New Years in Niagara included performances at the falls by Dennis DeYoung, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies.. The annual New Year’s Eve family event in Niagara takes place at Queen Victoria Park, near the brink of the falls, and attracts over 40,000 spectators from around the world.

Admission is free. Remember to dress warm since this is an outdoor event.

WEGO shuttle service: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. every 30 minutes, 7 p.m.-3:30 a.m. every 20 minutes

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Photo by niagarafallshoteldeals

Niagara’s Underground Railroad

Slaves in the early 1800s understood that the North was synonymous with freedom. While many escaped slavery and journeyed to the New England states, still others sought out safety across the Canadian border. Though many wealthy European immigrants brought their slaves with them to Upper Canada, slavery was abolished much sooner there than in the United States. The Niagara border connecting the United States to Canada was an opportunity for freedom. However, this freedom was not easily obtained, and the risky journey from the plantations of the Deep South could not be accomplished without assistance. The Underground Railroad developed as a result of kind-hearted and daring residents in the Niagara region.

Most of the early participants in the Underground Railroad were Quakers. They set up a network of safe houses and transportation routes which former slaves could use to make their journey northward less perilous. These depots could be any type of dwelling or business and included farms, hotels, warehouses and churches. Murphy Orchards, a stately brick home in eastern Niagara County, New York, served as a safe house for tens of thousands of escaped slaves. A secret tunnel under the barn still stands as an example of the lengths compassionate people would go to in order to protect and assist escapees.

On the border between the United States and Canada, the town of Lewiston, New York played a key role in the Underground Railroad movement. Many escaped slaves saw this as their goal of their journey, though it often served as just a stopping point before they continued on to Canada. With the help of local participants and such noted Underground Railroad personas as Harriet Tubman, over one hundred thousand former slaves traveled into Canada in the 1800s.

Built in 1848, the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge was one route which escapees used to cross over the Canadian border. As well, they relied on the nearby Whirlpool Bridge and the ferry services which crossed the Niagara River regularly. Steamboats on the river and Lake Ontario regularly stopped at Lewiston and many sympathetic captains gladly brought escaped slaves into Canada.

Due to its natural beauty, Niagara Falls attracted a large number of visitors from across the United States. Escaped slaves would find employment as waiters, dishwashers and bellhops in tourist hotels such as the Cataract House and later, the Eagle Hotel. These brave individuals assisted other escaping slaves in their journey, even helping to ferry them across the river at night.

In the 1800s the Underground Railroad secretly flourished across the eastern side of the United States, helping slaves on their way to freedom. Because of its proximity, the Niagara region of upstate New York provided escaping slaves with the opportunity to cross the border into Canada.

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Niagara Nature Reserve

By: photo by: wonkanerd

One of the most beautiful hikes along the Niagara Escarpment is found in the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. The climb to the top of Queenston Heights leads down to the bottom of the Niagara River Gorge  just a mile upstream are the Niagara Falls.

Four kilometres of trails wind through the incredible natural features of the Reserve. To make the most of your hike, purchase an interpretive trail map from the Feather in the Glen Gift Shop at Niagara Glen. Wintergreen Flat, the picnic area just off the Niagara Parkway, is where your descent begins.

The metal staircase leads you down into the gorge where you can follow well-marked, colour-coded trails through the forest. They’ll lead you to the river banks and whirlpool.

Centuries of erosion and blasting have broken rock from the walls of the Gorge, creating rocky rubble of various sizes. Natural stairways between the rocks were built with local stone. Ferns and mosses grow in the deep rocky crevices, generating cool, fresh air.

The Niagara Parks Commission leads guided nature hikes. . The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is located on the Niagara Parkway. Take the QEW to Highway 405 and follow it to the Niagara Parkway. Go north past the Butterfly Conservatory and the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, then watch for the Niagara Glen Feather in the Glen gift shop on the left.”

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