Family Fun, Activities, Exhibits Planned For Canal Day Festival at Waterloo Village

Morris County residents are invited to join the Canal Society of New Jersey for a day of family fun and entertainment on Saturday as it kicks off an 11th season of interpreting historic Waterloo Village in nearby Sussex County.

This year’s Waterloo Canal Day Festival will feature a wide range of activities for the whole family. On June 24, the Canal Society will bring historic Waterloo Village back to life with canal boat rides, live music, tours and demonstrations.

A special feature will be the new Canal Boat Exhibit that will include the recently discovered remains of a real Morris canal boat. Many of the historic buildings will be open, including Smith’s Store, the blacksmith shop, a working water-powered gristmill and the New Jersey Canal Museum. Canal Society volunteers will be on hand to talk about Waterloo’s history and offer hands-on activities.

Once a bustling inland port on the Morris Canal, Waterloo retains its character as a 19th Century canal town. Since 2007, the Canal Society has gradually opened industrial and commercial buildings to interpret trades that were common throughout the 19th Century.

Waterloo Village is managed by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry within the state Department of Environmental Protection and is located in Allamuchy Mountain State Park.

Scheduled activities at the festival, which has free admission and a $5 parking fee, include:

Carpenter Canal Boat Repair Shop: Included will be demonstrations using historic carpenter’s tools.

Highlands Canal Boat Exhibit

Smith’s Canal Store: Fully stocked canal store has many fascinating products and labor-saving gadgets from bygone days.

Canal Boat Rides: The only public boat ride on the Morris Canal.

Blacksmithing: Experienced blacksmiths will demonstrate and interpret various smithing techniques, working red-hot metal. Watch them turn a 20-penny nail into a decorative hook.

Entertainment: Singing historian Roy Justice will perform traditional songs about canals, coal, and Americana. Chairs under the tent allow visitors to sit and relax in the shade.

Smith’s Sawmill: Observe a water-powered sawmill, typical of those built across North Jersey.

Water Powered Grist Mill: The fully operational water-powered grist mill will grind corn into meal; interactive activities include corn shelling and grinding by hand;

Canal Society Museum: Canal Society has operated it since 1975.

Waterloo United Methodist Church: Guided tours of an 1859 church are available.

Lunch and Snacks: Grilled-to-order hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade baked goods and cold drinks are served by the Waterloo Methodist Church.

Future 2017 Waterloo Canal Special Programing Days, in the summer and fall 2017, are

July 8 and Aug. 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 26, Sept. 9 and Sept. 23, Oct 14 and Oct. 28.

For more information on the June 24 event, call 973.292.2755 or email For more information on Waterloo Village, visit For more information on the Morris Canal, visit:

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