A fence line that didn’t exist on the 4th of July now separates visitors to Buffalo’s waterfront from the Port of Call Tall Ships that many made the trip downtown to see.
You can still see the tall ships for free, but only through the fences and from a distance. At Canalside, an area by the Garden Bar offers a closer view, and on Erie Street, a spot where the fence ends at the entrance to Erie Basin Marina offers an unobstructed view.
But if you want access beyond the fence, the security company staffing this event recommends visitors now pay for a boarding ticket even if they’re not planning to physically go on the ships. Buffalo Protection & Investigation tells News 4 it’s following the Coast Guard’s recommended “Clean Zone” to both protect the ships and help control crowds at Canalside.
Visitors who feel strongly that wasn’t made clear are upset. One person noted that many of Canalside’s signature colorful Adirondack chairs were also off-limits because they were inside the fenced-off grass and boardwalk.
Western New Yorkers were additionally frustrated to discover there were no water bottle filling stations despite a press conference earlier in the week that said there would be stations. Instead, Port of Call tweeted a late day update Friday saying visitors could now bring a sealed water bottle through security to account for the heat and humidity.
The fences will stay up until the ships depart on Monday.