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Fireboat Bash benefiting Friends of the Edward M. Cotter! | Arts & Culture

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Fireboat Bash benefiting Friends of the Edward M. Cotter!

Who: Friends of the Edward M. Cotter, the Steam Donkeys

 What: Inaugural Fireboat Bash – Boat Rides & Beer Blast

When: Saturday, October 2nd, 12:00-6:00pm

Where: Edward M. Cotter/Swannie House, corner of Michigan & Ohio Streets

Why: Benefiting the Friends of the Edward M. Cotter, a registered 501c3 non-profit


Inaugural Fireboat Bash to Benefit Buffalo Landmark

Boat rides, beer blast mark event hosted by Friends of the Edward M. Cotter


This October, as one of Buffalo’s National Historic Landmarks hits a unique anniversary, a newly-minted organization committed to its preservation is throwing a bash in its honor.

The inaugural Fireboat Bash, an all-day event set for Saturday, October 2nd, at the corner of Michigan and Ohio Streets, celebrates two significant occasions for Buffalo’s fireboat, the Edward M. Cotter, while offering rides on the boat out on Lake Erie and a beer blast next door at the Swannie House featuring Cotter raffles and live music from the Steam Donkeys.

Looking back, October 7th, marks the 50th anniversary of the Cotter’s 1960 crossing to Port Colborne, Ontario, to battle a blaze at the Maple Leaf Milling Company in the first known instance of an American fireboat crossing international waters to fight a fire. Looking ahead, a bright and busy future for the boat is the goal of the recently confirmed non-profit organization “Friends of the Edward M. Cotter,” a group of Good Neighbors committed to preserving and promoting the legacy of the 110 year-old vessel, which is still in operation by the Buffalo Fire Department and currently stationed beside the Ohio Street lift bridge on the Buffalo River.  

“The Cotter deserves its standing as a National Landmark, and we’re committed to helping keep it in good shape – not only for the BFD, but for the public to enjoy,” said Friends of the Cotter chairman Rick Smith. “The Fireboat Bash gives folks a chance to take a ride on the boat while pitching in for its upkeep.”

Limited (160) boat ride tickets are available at the Swannie House, 170 Ohio St. on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be four separate one-hour rides, departing at noon, 1:30, 3:00, and 4:30pm. Adult tickets are $15, children 12 & under $5. Admission to the beer blast in the Swannie House is $20 and includes draft beer and food, Cotter raffles, and two sets from Buffalo’s preeminent honky-tonkers, the Steam Donkeys.  


The Friends of the Edward M. Cotter serves to promote and preserve this historic vessel and provide a permanent home for tours and education.

The Good Neighborhood is a Buffalo-based company that pairs performers with common causes to create Gatherings for the Common Good.

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