The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) and Canalside today announced that the 2018 GlassBarge tour will visit Buffalo, docking at Canalside on August 3-5. As the 2018 signature event for the statewide celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial, GlassBarge will offer free public glassmaking demonstrations at each scheduled stop during its four-month tour.

GlassBarge commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company—now known as Corning Incorporated—relocating to Corning via the New York Waterways by canal barge. In celebration of this pivotal journey, CMoG is recreating the voyage with GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment. In addition to sharing the story of glassmaking in Corning, theGlassBarge tour emphasizes the continued role of New York’s waterways in shaping the state’s industry, culture, and community.

GlassBarge begins it tour in Brooklyn on May 17 and will travel north on the Hudson River, then westward along the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo before making its way to the Finger Lakes. A ceremonial last leg of the trip will take place by land, concluding in Corning with a community-wide celebration on September 22.

“We look forward to the visit of the GlassBarge tour at Canalside,” said Robert Gioia, Chairman, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. “Governor Cuomo’s vision for the Buffalo waterfront has become a reality, attracting 1.5 million visitors each year. Canalside has become a magnet for artisans and musicians, making the glass bowing demonstrations a perfect addition to the hundreds of activates planned for the upcoming summer.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Visit Buffalo and Canalside to bring to life the historic waterway in their community,” said Rob Cassetti, senior director, creative strategy and audience engagement at CMoG. “The Corning Museum of Glass has taken mobile glassmaking around the world, and we can’t wait to share the beauty of this endlessly versatile material with our closest neighbors across New York State.”

“The GlassBarge’s Buffalo visit brings together two great New York visitor attractions: the Corning Museum of Glass and Canalside,” Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler said. “The GlassBarge will give visitors yet another reason to explore our redeveloped waterfront and resurgent destination this summer.”

A flotilla of historic ships will accompany GlassBarge, including: the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge, and the C.L. Churchill, a 1964 tugboat, both part of the permanent collection of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The museum will share the story of 19th-century canal life and how materials were shipped on New York’s waterways. On the Erie Canal, GlassBarge will be moved by an historic tug from the fleet of the South Street Seaport Museum, connecting upstate and downstate by water.

Ticketing and Additional Information

GlassBarge will provide daily demonstrations from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on August 3-5 at Canalside. All demos are approximately 30 minutes long, and reservations are strongly encouraged through free timed tickets that will be available at Reservations will open 4-6 weeks prior to each stop. Demos can also be viewed from shore without a reservation.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will invite people aboard the Lois McClure to learn about life on board a canal barge in the 19th century. Tours are first come, first served and do not require registration. The South Street Seaport Museum will also be on hand to talk about their historic tug that will be moving GlassBarge along the waterways.

The GlassBarge journey will also be celebrated back in Corning with a re-installation of the Crystal City Gallery, which will share the story of how Corning became one of the premier centers for glass cutting in the United States.

GlassBarge is enabled through the generous support of grants from I LOVE NEW YORK, Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism; the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA); and the New York State Canal Corporation through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

GlassBarge Weekend Schedule

  • May 17-28: Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • June 1-3: Yonkers
  • June 8-10: Poughkeepsie
  • June 15-17: Kingston
  • June 21-24: Albany/Troy/Waterford
  • June 30-July 1: Little Falls
  • July 7-8: Sylvan Beach
  • July 13-15: Baldwinsville
  • July 20-22: Fairport
  • July 28-29: Lockport
  • August 3-5: Buffalo
  • August 11-12: Medina
  • August 17-19: Brockport
  • August 24-26: Pittsford
  • September 1-3: Seneca Falls
  • September 14-16: Watkins Glen
  • September 22: Corning