BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - There's no doubt about it - Buffalo's waterfront is booming. The Queen City even garnered national attention from an article in the New York Times earlier this week.
On Friday night alone, there's at least two major concerts taking place at the inner and outer harbors, but that's not all. A 100-percent family-owned and operated business is capitalizing on how many more people are visiting the waterfront.
Music on Buffalo's Outer Harbor means business for Rick Hilliman, at the Inner Harbor. News 4 took a ride with the captain of the Queen City Ferry.
"We take people back and forth from the concert, because of the congestion. And we try to take as many people as we can over," Hilliman said.
On this night, the Queen City Ferry is carrying fans to see Flogging Molly, Lowest of the Low and the Tragically Hip.
Barbara Clark of Fort Erie, Ontario said, "We've been fans [of] the Hip for about 20 years."
Michael Witmer of Orchard Park added, "This would actually be my sixth time seeing Flogging Molly, so I'm a giant Flogging Molly fan."
The boats ferry about 260 fans to and from each concert.
"It's a tough business. These captains work late. They're up [until] 2:30 in the morning. They're still running boats. And we do it rain or shine," Hilliman said.
When storms forced the Hip to end their act early two weeks ago, sailing was a challenge, even for Hilliman's team of seasoned mariners.
"You have 200 people in pouring down rain, with winds gusting at 30 miles an hour."
While the weather is calmer this weekend, the waterfront is bustling with events.
The Lois McClure, a replica of a 19th-century schooner that sank on Lake Champlain is docked at Canalside until Monday, offering free public tours and history lessons on the Erie Canal.
Project director and historian Art Cohn said, "For over 150 years canal boats like this, wooden boats, traveled this canal, hauling the freight of the nation from New York City to the Great Lakes and everyplace in-between."
"We don't know that there's a time machine that actually exists, but I this boat works about as well as anything we've experienced."
Connecting an industrious past with the waterfront's thriving present and future.
Hilliman said, "At 5:00 at night five years ago, there wasn't anybody. Now at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 at night, you still have people pushing baby buggies."
The water taxi service is $15, and includes a pre-concert party at the Pearl Street Grill.
Right after the Lois McClure sets sail on Monday night, another tall ship will be docking there. The Empire Sandy, which was built by Great Britain as a war ship in 1943, will offer tours and sailing on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-12 p.m. for $5.
And Tuesday there will be a party on board with food, drink, music and a Chinese auction for $40 per person, or $75 per couple. There will also be a part Wednesday with pizza, beer, soda and a self-guided tour. Admission is $25. Both parties will be held 6-8:30 p.m.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
Buffalo police homicide detectives are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early Saturday morning.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
The Niagara County Sheriff's responded to Saunders Settlement Road near Comstock in Cambria Friday night after receiving a tip about a suspected meth lab.
Volunteers at Buffalo’s Salvation Army created holiday cards and gift bags for the seniors at the Golden Age Center.
Call 4 Action looked into claims this week that members of BJ's Wholesale Club were paying too much on sales tax on some deeply discounted items.