Brockport, N.Y. - The New York state canal system is being officially opened for its 189th season during a ceremony at a waterfront festival in western New York.

State Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton will be joined by local elected officials and other leaders when the canal's navigation season is opened at noon Saturday during Brockport's Low Bridge, High Water Festival at Harvester Park.

The 524-mile state canal system includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca canals. In addition to recreational boating traffic, the waterways are seeing an increase in commercial shipping. State officials expect commercial shipping to top 100,000 tons this year, a level not seen in two decades.

Many of the communities along the canals host events throughout the navigation season to attract visitors to the waterfront districts.