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    Sparta Independent > News
    Updated: September 4, 2008

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    Canal Day mixes history with the fun of a festival

    Spectators were treated to the sounds of the Hsu-Nami, a rock band with Asian influences. The group’s music was featured as the official music for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics U.S. Chinese Men’s Basketball Team. Photos by Jennifer Jean Miller

    Canal Day has been an annual tradition in Wharton for the past 33 years. It was started by the Wharton Rotary Club to celebrate the achievements of the Morris Canal. The Morris Canal was vital to commerce and development in the area and for helping to fuel the Industrial Revolution in Morris and Sussex Counties by transporting coal and by rejuvenating Morris County’s iron ore industry. The canal was known as “New Jersey’s Mountain Climbing Waterway,” as it was the world’s highest climbing canal at 1,674 feet. One of the best preserved portions of the canal passes through Hugh Force Park in Wharton. On the most recent Canal Day, attendees had the opportunity to travel by boat or kayak down the canal, including a mule-drawn boat ride. There was also a guided walking tour, food, vendors, crafts, demonstrations, live music and fireworks. John Manna, president of the Canal Day Association, described the event as “successful in every way possible.” For more information about Canal Day and the preservation efforts for Lock 2 East, visit:


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