Monday, November 17, 2008

Funding - Columbia County QUAD Committee Press Release

Contact: Ruth Piwonka: 518 758-7605

Anticipated Quadricentennial Funding

(Hudson: 11/7/08) In 2002, the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Act created a commission to plan and develop the 400th anniversary celebrations of the voyages of discovery made by Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain, as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton's steamship voyage along the Hudson River. These voyages were some of the most significant events In European exploration, and initiated some of the earliest contacts between Native Americans and Europeans.

In recognition of the upcoming historical year, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Tourism & Historian Committee established the Columbia County 400 Committee to coordinate local efforts. Therefore, in 2009, Columbia County will join with other Hudson River Valley counties and communities in celebrating the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial.

In anticipation of state funding, the Columbia County 400 Committee is seeking preliminary applications - from municipalities and Columbia County not-for-profits organization – for proposed Quadricentennial projects and events to be held in communities across the county, especially communities with activities along the river.

The preliminary application should include a brief project/event description, how the project/event relates to the Quadricentennial and budget (including the amount of money the local sponsor will be requesting), the date on which it will occur, and who are the events and/or projects intended participants or audience. The preliminary application must include contact information.

At present, not all details of how the funding will be distributed to the counties is known; however, the Columbia County 400 Committee is eager to review project applications in order to move efficiently and quickly once funds become available. Therefore the preliminary applications are due Friday December 5th, 2008.

Please send the event/project preliminary application to:

Columbia County 400 Committee
P O Box 472
Kinderhook, NY 12106-0472.

Prospective applicants should direct questions to: Committee Chair: Ruth Piwonka 518 758-7605 Or Committee Secretary: Steele Andrews 518 325-3000

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

QUAD Committee Minutes - November 12th 2008

1) Welcome by Ms. Piwonka. Welcome to visitors. Motion to approve minutes.

2) “Funding update and Press Release”

Release was discussed. The purpose of the release was to communicate anticipated funding to the community. The object was to reach out to interested parties so that they know how to contact the group should there be any plans.

If groups make a submission, it will be a brief outline. Once funding is established, we would contact interested parties for a final proposal.

As funding has not yet been confirmed, there was nothing more to discuss.

Ms. Cooper was to submit a revised (or new) resolution for funding to the State via the Board of Supervisors. This was to be completed the next night on November 13th.

3) River Regatta / Steele Andrews

Steele said he had not obtained any final information as to when the boats / ships would be sailing past Hudson. Mr. Kennelly of the Hudson Light has said there was no confirmed date as of yet and would let us know.

Ms. Thurston said the date had been confirmed and that it would be June 11th.

More information to come

SA – Contact Mr. Kennelly for update

4) Heritage Weekend – Ann Cooper

No word on a date as of yet, but this was moving forward. The feeling is the even will tie into the Hudson Ramble in September. This would be the 2nd, 3rd or 4th weekend.

The Hudson River Ramble does not have its own website, but the publication notes the following site for reference:

Ms. Cooper expressed that this event is moving forward.

5) Update of Official Events

Nothing further has been updated to the site. Ms. Thurston mentioned that several items have not shown up with the State website.

Ms. Cooper stressed the importance of letting her know as soon as an event needs to be listed officially. She would submit information to the State and to the Albany quad sites. The events would also be listed on the County blog site.

Ms. Knott said that she would have several events to list for Stuyvesant and would do so shortly.

ET/AC – Check State website for proper listing.

6) Review Blog and State Website.

There was some discussion about the State website (mentioned earlier) by Ms. Thurston as to the functionality of the calendar.

There was no concerns with the blog.

There TO DO:

7) Old & New Business

Steele needs to check the email addresses as several said they were not being notified. Steele also past around the “official coil” for the Quad as recognized by the state HFC committee (coin produced by Hudson Athens Lighthouse to be sold for $25 each). Steele also past around an email obtained from Cooper regarding the S.S. Columbia Project – a vintage boat currently in restoration.

AC: Obtain weblink of S.S. Columbia Project for the Blog site.

Ms. Lewis of the Historical Society said that she would be meeting about the program guide / magazine and would let us know shortly as to what is determined.

Ms. Thurston again brought to our attention the Bruno Pasquier-desVignes project to have a floating exhibit. She also mentioned the ongoing discussion about “floating docks”. Several others mentioned the value, however safe public access to the river is a bigger part of the problem.

Ms. Knott reviewed various parts of the community celebration for Stuyvesant. There would be a celebration by the falls and one toward the river.

Ranger McKay from the Martin Van Buren home made a few general announcements. One is that the “Landmark Visitors Cooperative” has had a traveling exhibit constructed to tour various county events. It is a nice presentation of the various attractions found throughout Columbia County. If there is a need for this, contact Jim or go through the Tourism Office with Ms. Cooper.

Also mentioned was the $1 coin to be issued this week with Martin Van Buren on the coin. The coint can be obtained from any bank and could do much to promote the Martin Van Buren house in Kinderhook.

At 9:30 on December 5th, MVB’s birthday, there would be a special note regarding the coin.

Ms. Boeringer of the Hudson Library mentioned the ongoing development of the reading list for the kids’ summer reading program.

Ms. O’Neal and Ms. Goetz said there are on-going developments for Clermont to close Route 6 to automobiles for a day and that an entire celebration will be developed as a result. More information to come.

The meeting was adjourned by 12 noon.

The next meeting will be in the Hudson Library on December 10th at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lighthouse in the News


Funding - Mini Grant Recipients for Columbia County

1. Hudson Area Association Library, Greta Boeringer, 518-828-1792, Purchase of related Quadricentennial books for Columbia County libraries

2. Olana Partnership-Robert Burns, 518-828-1872
a. Underwrite the marketing for inaugural exhibit featuring sketches by Church of Hudson River
b. Creation of virtual Olana to provide virtual access to the HR Exhibition
c. Children’s summer program including hands-on exploration of 19th century farm

3. Germantown Central School district, Patrick Gabriel , 518-537-6281– to partner with Bard to conduct workshops about archaeological connections to HH’s voyage

4. Historic Kinderhook Committee- Frances Heins, 518-758-6197- Mohican Tribal People to come and participate in harvest Day bringing educational programs about their tribe to local schools.

5. Taconic State Park. –Fran Martino, 518-329-3993- Blacksmith Demo Days at Copake Iron Works

6. Operation Unite New York, Elena Mosley, 518-828-3612 –curate exhibit of photos, dos and historical objects of African American people of Hudson and Columbia counties

7. Town of Germantown – Jeremy Smith, 518-537-6902
a. Purchase books, interactive software and audio-visual material relative to the voyages of Hudson and Champlain and impact of Fulton’s steamboats.
b. Design, construct and install a historical marker/sign in Lasher Park on Anchorage Rd. that describes Hudson’s voyage in 1609.

River Planning Day - Tara Sullivan

From email 10/13/2009

More than 60 notable Hudson Valley leaders in the boating and waterfront communities including the major Hudson River organizations, have had a series (6) meetings to build the concept and set the schedule for the first annual Hudson River Day and for its beginning to come about as a Quadricentennial legacy event.

The enthusiasm and camaraderie has been the main ingredient to collectively start what is hoped to be the premier and linear event in the valley to commemorate 400 years of history of the river, boats and ships, and friends.

The date is set for Hudson River Day to traditionally take place the first week end of June when boat owners typically uncover and spruce up their boats and get on the water. For 2009, June 6th will be the official day although the celebration and events will be spread out over a few days to accommodate the signature event, the Relay Flotilla.

The flotilla will start the morning of June 6th with the boat and yacht clubs of Manhattan and New York City being the first to send out their memberships around the tip of Manhattan and coming round the statue of liberty led up the river by our New York State heritage flagships.

As these memberships are welcomed to celebrations at the next northerly clubs, those clubs will send their members out to continue the relay flotilla tracing Henry Hudson's path to Albany. At this time, we have commitments from the flagships; the famous Onrust, Clearwater, and Woody Guthrie. We are working with the Half Moon to help fund some necessary refurbishments-once secure, we expect to have Captain Reynolds commitment too. The events along the river at the boat and yacht clubs, the cultural institutions and museums, and all of the waterfront parks will have appeal and activities for everyone as the summer begins an entire season of celebration.

We are working to build the land components with parks,the Harbor District in NYC, and countless others. We hope to have a "launch" celebration in the city the night before the Relay Flotilla as a celebration of New York's heritage flagships, and then, a welcoming ceremony when the flotilla arrives in Albany.

A meeting with all of the safety and security entities has their full support and interest including a possible Coast Guard escort of the flotilla. The proposed schedule has been fashioned through two meetings with riverboat pilots consulting tide charts, an average speed of 3 to 4 knots, overnight dock accommodations, and inclusive for the involved communities along the way. The promotion of River Day will be the centerpiece of the National Boat Show this December with more "sign-on" expected at the show.

Tentative Schedule:
JUNE 5-evening "launch" celebration in NY Harbor
JUNE 6-early morning start of flotilla at Statue of Liberty. Arrival and welcome (6pm) for overnight in Tappan area including Tarrytown, Nyack(boat club and town dock) and Piermont.
JUNE 7-Arrival and welcome (6pm) in Beacon/Newburgh for overnight.
JUNE 8 and 9-Arrival and welcome (4pm) in Poughkeepsie area for two overnights (Marist, 2 boat clubs and new marina if ready). Two nights so that the flagships have the opportunity to take on school groups or other educational programs, etc.
JUNE 10-Arrival and welcome (6pm) in Kingston for overnight.
JUNE 11-Arrival and welcome in Catskill/Hudson area for overnight.
JUNE 12-Arrival in Castleton at 4 for final relay "pick-up", arriving in Albany at 6-7 pm for final welcome event.

We are working with Joe Bonora at the Shadows Restaurant (and future site of the new Poughkeepsie Marina!) for a date and time for our next valley-wide meeting so stay tuned!

Tara Sullivan
Executive DirectorHudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial
Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233
office 518-402-8565
cell 845-242-3766
fax 518-402-9016

Monday, October 27, 2008

Other Grant Opportunities

Mini Grants
Of up to $2500 for the planning and execution of public programs related to the 400th.

Reading Between the Lines
Reading and discussion series focused on 400th-related themes.

Speakers in the Humanities
400th lectures available to New York State groups for a nominal fee.

Speakers in the Schools
400th lectures available free of charge to any New York State high school.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Funding - Greenway Quadricentennial Implementation Grants

The Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area announce the availability of $50,000 in matching funds for Hudson Valley projects through Quadricentennial Implementation Grants.

Applications can be requested by calling (518) 473-3835 or by emailing the Greenway at or by downloading at . All applications must be delivered by 4:30 PM, December 15, 2008.

In 2009, New York State, along with Vermont and Quebec, will commemorate the 400th anniversaries of Henry Hudson’s sail up the Hudson River and Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Lake Champlain, as well as the 200th Anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first successful commercial steamship operation on the Hudson River. This grant program is intended to provide seed money to organizations for local Hudson Valley Quadricentennial projects, programs, and events that celebrate the legacies of Henry Hudson, Robert Fulton, and Samuel de Champlain, and that showcase the Hudson River Valley region.

Eligible projects should:
• Encourage participation by communities or non-profits in the region;
• Contain elements that support a lasting presence; and
• Seek opportunities to associate with other celebration events.

The grants will be limited to $2,500 to $5,000 in scope and must be matched dollar for dollar by the recipient with either cash or in-kind services.

Eligible applicants include: Local Government entities including municipal boards, commissions or committees; public or private schools or other educational institutions; organizations with 501 (c)(3) status, or citizen groups such as “friends of” association working in coordination with such an organization, that applies on their behalf and will manage the grant funds; and private businesses, individuals and state government agencies which may collaborate with one of the above groups, but are not eligible to be the primary applicant under this program.

Projects must be located within the geographic area of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. This legislatively designated area includes municipalities with the counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland; and the Village of Waterford in Saratoga County.

For further information or to download an application, visit, or contact the Greenway at (518) 473-3835 or by email
at .

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Dear Quadricentennial Community Leaders,

After careful review, we have been able to simplify the reimbursement process for the Quadricentennial Municipal grant. Once we receive your project narrative and budget, and have the resolution and signed contract from you, we will notify you that you may have an advance of 25 percent.

All future grant payment requests will be accepted and processed by DEC on a reimbursement basis. You will be required to provide supporting documentation on how the 25% advance was spent, and then you may submit documentation for additional costs for reimbursement.

The DEC will process reimbursement payments to you as needed. The new adjustment that we have been able to make is that the grant will no longer require a match of funding, municipal or otherwise. This change is due to the statewide municipal belt-tightening that we understand could prevent some municipalities from being able to participate in this important assistance.

We deeply appreciate your patience in this and all of our collaborative preparations for New York's 400th! Together we will make this a memorable mark in our state's history, extraordinary in our lifetimes!

Many thanks for all, Tara

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Official Coin of the Quadricentenial!!! $25

This is an historic coin commemorating the 2009 New York State Quadricentennial.
The coin is die cast; zinc alloy with a bright silver finish - two sided depicting the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse on one side and Henry Hudson's Half Moon on the second side.
Printed on side one are the words, "Hudson-Athens Lighthouse 1874 Hudson River New York State" and, "New York State Quadricentennial Henry Hudson's Half Moon 1609 2009" on the second side.
The coin is 1 and ½ inches in diameter.The weight of the coin is 18 grams, or 5/8 of an ounce (heavy!). The coin is very durable and is molded with high detail three dimensional images.The coin is being distributed by the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society which is an official Ambassador of the 2009 New York State Quadricentennial.
Proceeds from the sale will be used for the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Foundation Repair Project slated to be completed in 2009. The cost of the coin in a Rosewood display case is $30 including shipping and handling. To order by check, please send, for each coin, a check or money order for $30. 00 which includes shipping and handling to: HALPS, P.O. 145, Athens, New York 12015. Please designate the check for : COIN. Please remember to include your mailing address and the number of coins you are ordering.
Or to save the $5 for shipping and handling, you may buy the coins directly from the Bank of Greene County, Fairview Plaza, Greenport, NY; The Columbia Greene Federal Credit Union, Rt. 23 B, Hudson, NY, and Athens, NY. and Tanzy's Cafe, 223 Warren Street, Hudson, NY.
For more information on the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, please go to their website! There is a ton of information and some beautiful pictures.

Stuyvesant Falls, NY

This drawing was done in 2008 by Roy Shanon of Stuyvesant Falls, New York. This is a native American Encampment at Newton Hook in Stuyvesant.
Snap on the picture to see all the wonderful details.

This picture will be used to create a commemorative postcard in conjunction with the Stuyvesant Falls Quadricentinial Celebration. More information forthcoming.

Funding Issues

The State of New York approved public Funding to various communities in support of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration. There has been a little confusion with regard to clear direction. The following letter was issued by the Tourism Professionals along the Hudson Valley. All concerned parties are encouarged to contact their various public representatives in Albany.

October 6, 2008

Hon. David A. Paterson
Executive Chambers
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Paterson:

The ten county Hudson Valley I LOVE NEW YORK region were initially shocked, and are now outraged to find that the state has switched horses in midstream and will now make the $45,000 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial grants to the counties reimbursable instead of direct grants. Our counties and communities have been planning for the Quad for over two years and these events need an infusion of funds to sustain their efforts.

Tara Sullivan, the Quad’s Director, had promised us that these funds would be available to us with a check written to our counties, not as a delayed reimbursement program. Lacking these immediate funds, many of our events will not be able to get off the drawing board. Waiting for money from the state after the Quad has happened is not an option here.

We hope that you will seriously consider providing each of the Quad counties with a check for $45,000 so that we can make sure that this event is the economic driver for communities as promised. New York State got us on the bandwagon for the Quad, now let’s see it through.

Michele Vennard, Albany
Ann Cooper, Columbia
Mary Kay Vrba, Dutchess
Daniella Marino, Greene
Susan Cayea, Orange
Val Hickman, Putnam
Christine Chesley, Rensselaer
Heather Duke, Rockland
Rick Remsnyder, Ulster
Kim Sinistore, Westchester

Resolution QUAD Flag

Those that submitted an official Resolution will be receiving "Flags" within the next month or so. The State office is in the process of getting the mailing ready.

Certainly all municipalities will have them by 2009 when they should be displayed. The shelf-life of a flag is approximately 6-8 months depending of weather.

Those that have formed resolutions within the county are: the City of Hudson and the Town of Germantown. If there are any other municipalities that have passed ExploreNY400 Resolutions, please inform Ms. Ann Cooper of the Tourism Department.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

QUAD Committe Minutes - October 8th 2009

Welcome by Ms. Piwonka. Motion to approve minutes, approved after Steele updates changes requested by Ms. Piwonka.

“Official Coin”

Ms. Bliss was unable to attend the meeting, so Steele informed the committee regarding the QUAD State recognized “official coin”. Details are both on the QUAD-blog and the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse website (

Coins can be ordered form information provided on the Lighthouse website, or purchased directly at several locations though out the county. Locations will be noted on the Blog site. Coin is $25, or $30 if requested by mail.

This information will be updated into the County blog site.

River Regatta / Tom Crowell

Tom reviewed the meeting hosted by the Castleton Boat Club and the key objectives of the possible event. It would be a new tradition for the Hudson River; and “opening day” for the boating season. It would include all the boating clubs along the river, a raft, etc.

Snags in the plan would be limited funding for Heritage ships (Half Moon).

The event would be the first Saturday in June down in the New York City harbor, and would culminate on the following Saturday in Albany – supposedly.

More information to come

SA – Contact Mr. Kennedy for update

Heritage Weekend – Ann Cooper

Ms. Griffen of the Olana Partnership called Ms. Cooper with an idea she had discovered during a recent trip to Europe. It seems they celebrate a weekend or week in which all public attractions are opened free to the public. Likewise several select attractions open their doors to “not-open-to-the-public” tours.

Ms. Cooper contacted her Tourism partners throughout the Hudson Valley and the plan is in the works.

The celebration would be in September during “off peak” visitor times, but the weather would still be perfect for touring all of the attractions. It would likewise serve as a tremendous promotion for the Hudson Valley attractions and we would most likely do this on an annual basis in the coming years. It would likely coordinate with the Hudson River Ramble.

Ms. Cooper will pursue research and let the committee know of a firm date as soon as it is determined.

Update of Official Events

No new events have been added since the last meeting.

Procedures to include a new event are listed on the Blog site, along with all current “official events”.

Ann Cooper announced that the new State site has been published and that the calendar is comprehensive.

Additionally, she will be able to directly upload events to the calendar on the website. The calendar is now full of numerous events throughout the state. The committee is encouraged to review the site for further discussion at the next meeting.

A link to the site is available on the Blog site; and the address is

ALL – Review the State website

Funding update.

Ms. Cooper explained that funding procedures have changed again. She also explained that no one in the State has been successful in obtaining funds and that she is on top of it.

There is was much speculative talk about how to move forward. Ms. Cooper explained that it was somewhat pointless to discuss it at this time as things were certain to change.

Ms. Cooper will forward out a letter organized by her tourism counterparts within the Hudson Valley and encouraged us to use the same format to encourage lawmakers to address the confusion. The letter will be posted on the Blog site.

There is an ongoing concern that once funding has been addressed, how will it be distributed. Public notice needs to be provided with a deadline for application submission. This will be addressed when we have a better idea about how funding will be obtained.

Ms. Cooper, Ms Thurston and Mr. Crowell will meet to formulate the next attempt to secure funding.

NOTE: Since the meeting, another announcement has been made by the state. Once funding is approved, it will be based on a 25% upfront distribution with a final payment based on complete detail and support for expenses. The major change is that a match will no longer be needed. This is because many communities may not have the time to secure a match at this late date. Information is posted on the blog site.

AC, ET & TC - Meet to formulate next request of funds.
AC – Obtain final requests from the State

Old & New Business

Ms. Thurston mentioned another idea that has been discussed in Hudson. There would be an artist that does art from recycled garbage. He is well known and the art would be organized on a barge that would circulate the Hudson River. The artist is Bruno Pasquier-desVignes.

Ms. Thurston also expressed an interest in Hudson to plant 400 trees. Discussion came about as to “sponsors” for individual trees, and the fact that the Boy Scouts could be commissioned to plant the seedlings.

Ms. O'Neal and Ms. Goetz informed the group that Clermont is planning Quad activities that will involve the Clermont Academy - Site of NY's first Public School in 1791.

Ms. Boeringer announced that the “Department of Library Developments” will be providing a reading program for children regarding the QUAD. She also mentioned that flags would be issued to the Libraries.


Date & Time of Next Meeting:

November 12th, 10:30 a.m. at the Stuyvesant Town Hall. Ms. Knott to confirm.

Meeting adjourned: Meeting ended by 12:20 p.m.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quad Committee Minutes - September 10th 2008

The location of the meeting was at the Hudson Opera House. The meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.m. promptly by Ms. Piwonka. Minutes were approved and Ms. Piwonka briefly discussed the nature of the celebration in these times and how things are significantly different from 1909 and even 1959. While we all wish it could be a more substantial celebration, things have changed and we need to respect the realities of the time. And we need to be constantly aware of opportunities to communicate the history and look for avenues to do so.

Ms. Cooper noted that that the “American Bus Association” has announced that of their “100 Best Events of 2009”, the Albany HFC 400 Celebration was selected as “Number one”. A press conference would be held that day at 1 p.m. to make the announcement. INFORMATION ON THE BLOG.

Columbia County’s location within the Hudson Valley, and the proximity to Albany would play well into this announcement. Due to Ms. Coopers close relationship to the officials in Albany, we have all the information needed to be included on the Albany website -

Ms. Cooper will make sure all “official events” are listed on that site.

There was a substantial discussion about "funding" and the need to make sure the public is aware when we have the funds secured. Ms. Piwonka would head up a committee to review applications once procedures have been determined.

Park Ranger McKay reviewed some of the festivities coming up on September 20th. The event will take place between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m and will represent the “kick off” to the HFC Celebration.

Ranger McKay also requested that if we have any brochures or information on the HFC Celebration, that he will have a table to communicate the information.

Ms. Thursdon offered to send Henry to visit the event. They have a Henry Hudson costume and an actor that circulates around – something like a Disney character.

Ms. Audry Reifler from “Friends of Clermont” discussed some events that they hope to include in the celebration.

Clermont has a 1.1 mile long trail that is slated for improvements. Aside from dressing up the trail, informational signage is planned as well.

Actor Garret Grat has volunteered to be a part of skits reenacting historical events. This event will be in September 2009, and keyed with the “Hudson River Rambles” program.

Ms. Reifler also brought to our attention that the dock restoration is a real possibility. An application for funding has been accepted and will be reviewed for consideration. The main point is that the engineers have stated that it can be done and they are free to move forward.

There was also an brief discussion about the desire to support a “river run” or “regatta”. Ms. Cooper had received unconfirmed information about a possible date of June 6th. Should this work out, there is the feeling that the community could come together for “Picnic on the Hudson” to encourage all to come out to the river to view the spectacle. Again, we will need to wait for further information.

Ms. Ann-Eliza Lewis (Director of Columbia County Historical Society) reviewed again some of the deadlines for being included in the Historical Society magazine.

Each event will have a full page to communicate information. The hope is that it will be the largest publication and will have full color. The retail price is expected to be $7.50 each. Deadlines for event submissions is December 1st of 2008.

Ms. Lewis also mentioned that the Historical Society is trying to work with the schools for an essay contest. This will be an ongoing effort.

October 8th 10:30 a.m. in new Germantown Library. Location tentative, more info forthcoming.
Meeting adjourned: Promptly ended by 11:45 a.m.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

American Bus Association Press Release

The following is a press release from the ABA regarding the Albany HFC 400 celebration:

Sept. 10, 2008

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Eron Shosteck Phone: 202-218-7220

WASHINGTON-- The American Bus Association today announced that the “Hudson 400th Celebration of Discovery” & “Vermont Celebrates Champlain,” and the “Tall Ships Nova Scotia Festival 2009,” are the winning U.S. and Canadian events, respectively, as ABA released its 2009 list of the “Top 100 Events in North America.”

The annual guide for professional travel planners and the general public, now in its 27th year, highlights the top fairs, festivals, parades and shows across North America. While the Top 100 are not ranked, ABA highlights the top U.S. and Canadian events for 2009.

The top American event is the Albany-based Hudson River 400th anniversary “Celebration of Discovery,” which features events all year. It earned top U.S. honors in conjunction with the Montpelier, Vermont celebration of Lake Champlain’s 400th anniversary, slated to run from Dec. 31, 2008-Oct. 31, 2009. For Canada, Halifax’s “Tall Ships Nova Scotia Festival 2009” slated to take place July 16-20 earned highest honors.

"With the rich history and beautiful landscape in both upstate New York and neighboring Vermont, the nautical traditions to be celebrated in Nova Scotia, and the motorcoach-friendly aspects of both, these events are great examples of the wonderful group travel destinations North America has to offer,” said ABA President & CEO Peter J. Pantuso.

The Top 100 list is chosen from among 524 events nominated by state and provincial tourism officials and CVBs. A 14-member Selection Committee of tour operators bases its picks on the events' broad appeal, their accessibility to groups arriving by motorcoach, and other criteria. The full list of 2009 winners is on

ABA also announced additions to its list of Top Internationally Known Events (IKE), which consists of 32 perennial favorites. For 2009, ABA added three new IKEs:
Christmas at Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC, November 6, 2008-January 3, 2009
The Holland Tulip Time Festival, Holland, Michigan, May 2-9, 2009
The 28th Boston Harborfest, Boston, Massachusetts, July 1-5, 2009

“This elite status is awarded to these distinguished events because of their tremendous popularity, quality and international appeal,” Pantuso added. The Top 100 list is published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations.

For the 2009 Top 100 edition, ABA has partnered with Group Leaders of America (GLAMER) for special promotions. These promotions will result in leads for the winning destinations and events. The leads will be distributed to the nominating member and the winning festival/event.
The American Bus Association is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry with more than 1000 motorcoach owner and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Link to article

Some recommended books...

Unofficial recommendations... We are still waiting to hear what the reading list will be from the New York Library Association.

Jacobs, Jaap. "New Netherland: A Dutch Colony in Seventeeth-Century America". Leiden: Brill, 2005.

Kenney, Alice P. "The Gansevoorts of Albany: Dutch Patricians in the Upper Hudson Valley". Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1969.

Kenney, Alice. "Stubborn for Liberty: The Dutch in New York". Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1975.

Innes, J. H. "New Amsterdam and Its People: Studies, Social and Topographical, of the Town under Dutch and Early English Rule". Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1902.

Blackburn, Roderic H. and Nancy A. Kelly, eds. "New World Dutch Studies: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776". Albany: Albany Institute of History and Art, 1987.

Blackburn, Roderic H. and Ruth Piwonka, eds. "Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776". Albany: Albany Institute of History and Art, 1988. This is wonderful about Albany -- though quite detailed.

Venema, Janny. Beverwijck: "A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 1652-1664". Hlversum: Veloren, 2003.

Two wonderful books about New York city
Goodfriend, Joyce D. "Before the Melting Pot: Society and Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664-1730". Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Jill Lepore's "New York Burning" (about a slave rebellion) is outstanding ... not quite about Henry Hudson etc -- but about colonial New York and about the Dutch under the English.

Zeller, Nancy Anne McClure, ed. "A Beautiful and Fruitful Place": Selected Rensselaerswijck Seminar Papers. Albany: New Netherland Publishing, 1991.

Times Union - Albany Celebration Recognized

Hudson celebration tops tourist list !
Officials tout travel group's ranking of Albany's planned quadricentennial events

By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Thursday, September 11, 2008

ALBANY -- A life-size doll of Henry Hudson, puppets teaching Colonial history to local schoolchildren and a stream of bus tours disgorging tourists downtown.

These are among the city's plans for events in 2009 to celebrate Henry Hudson's 400th anniversary of sailing up the river that bears his name.

The smattering of Quadricentennial offerings next year amounts to a rijsttafel, or rice table, an elaborate meal of many Indonesian dishes developed in the Dutch Colonial era.

Organizers who unveiled the events at a news conference Wednesday expressed confidence that they had cooked up something for every taste.

"I know we're going to have a very successful year," said Michele Vennard, president and CEO of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, where details of the "Hudson 400th Celebration of Discovery" events were announced.

A high point was the announcement that the American Bus Association has named Albany's Hudson 400th festivities No. 1 on its list of 2009's Top 100 events in North America. It's the first time in 28 years that Albany has reached the top spot.

"We're No. 1 and we're going to have a great Quadricentennial celebration," said Mayor Jerry Jennings, who added that bus groups could be a windfall for the city.

One overnight visit by a motor coach group can pump between $5,000 and $13,000 into the local economy through spending on lodging, meals, admissions and souvenirs, according to a recent academic study.

Jennings noted that the three-day Tulip Festival in May will be a focal point and will include the planting of 209,000 tulips across the city. Another major event will be a celebration in Riverfront Park on Sept. 26, the day that Hudson reached Albany in 1609.

Tara Sullivan, executive director of the state's Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, announced a stamp exhibition involving 28 philatelic organizations and commemorative stamp cancellations, to be held Sept. 25-27 next year at the Empire State Plaza.
Sullivan's group has been criticized for being slow to organize large-scale, marquee events and for becoming enmeshed in political squabbles.

"We need to keep up the focus on this celebration because our region has so much to offer in terms of its history," said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin.

The biggest hit of the gathering of politicians and marketers was a life-size doll of Henry Hudson, created by Mary Halliday of California. His period costume was fashioned by Chris Persans, an artist and staff member of the convention and visitors bureau.

Dignitaries couldn't keep their hands off the flexible, 5-foot 8-inch explorer, shaking his hand and rubbing his scruffy beard.

"He'll put a happy face on anyone who sees him," said Carol Ann Margolis, the convention and visitors bureau's education coordinator.

The region's libraries will let patrons borrow the doll and will encourage families to take the rugged explorer along with them on trips. Borrowers will help assemble a travelogue of the places Hudson sees.

"We all need to embrace a sense of the silly in this," said Mary Fellows, manager of youth and family services of the Upper Hudson Library System.

Paul Grondahl can be reached at 454-5623 or by e-mail at

Quad Committee Meeting – August 13th 2008

The location of the meeting was in the Livingston “History Barn” which was located immediately behind the Livingston Town Hall. It was an inspiring location as this building is a tribute to those who have gone before for this township.

The meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.m. by Ms. Piwonka. Ms Cooper was first on the agenda and she submitted a document received from the state regarding the nature of how the grant monies should be spent. The name of the document is “Questions regarding Grants to Counties and Cities”. She requested that we publish this document on the Blog.

This document explains how funds will need to be used and what in-kind services will equate a match. It was agreed that while the document was vague, there was enough for us to move forward on a responsible basis.

She also presented a copy of the Ulster County Resolution to the State for the $45,000 in funding. Basically the resolution is a promise by the county to match the funds with limited details on how this would be handled. The point was that the State is looking for an official commitment even without a voucher for payment. Ulster County was issued a check in full and is the only county to obtain funds to date.

Supervisor Williams recommended that Columbia County follow the same format and move forward. Ms. Cooper will prepare the resolution.

Ms. Cooper explained that the Tourism Department would submit a line in the budget for $10,000 to match $10,000 of the $45,000 funding. This would be used for county wide needs for promotion, etc

The balance of the funding ($35,000) would go to communities. Ms. Boeringer and Ms. Cooper will meet to outline the details needed to re-grant remaining funds. For example, Ms. Boeringer will create a commitment form for communities to use to detail how the match will be obtained. They will also put together an application with a due date for communities to request funding. A procedure will also be adopted to establish how the selection process will be resolved. In previous meetings, it was already determined that funds would not be equally divided in the county, but would be awarded based on events that lend themselves most to the education and celebration of the HFC400.

All funding will need to be spent by December 31, 2009.

AC – Find out if funds can be used for capital projects.
AC/PWilliams – Draft Resolution for the County to request funding from State. Ms. Cooper also recommended a joint press conference for the County & Hudson when the Resolutions are submitted.
AC/GB – Draft procedures for communities to request funding.

Park Ranger McKay reviewed activities with the MVB celebration this September 20th which would include some joint efforts with the local schools. There would be some education on food preparation and music. Mr. Andrews asked if he could provide the Elementary School principles with his email address should they wish to participate in some fashion.

Mr. Andrews has been in communication with the Elementary School Principles. All schools have an interest and are considering if there is a way they can celebrate together – maybe with a jeopardy game. The schools would prefer to let this evolve. Communication will continue.

Ms. Cooper noted that Robert Bulluck has resigned from the State HFC400 office with no replacement as of yet. He was Tara Sullivan’s co-chair and had been responsible for working with the region north of Albany.

Ms. Ellen Thurston reviewed some developing ideas for a festival to be held next July when the Half-Moon will be in Hudson. She asked for the committee to consider being involved as a county celebration.

Some of her ideas included community tables to be supplied at no charge. She also mentioned that there would be a Farmer’s Market and an opportunity for other booths for sale items.

There was discussion of a joint retailing project such as t-shirts or mugs that would be something the entire county could be involved in. No decision was made.

Ms. Knott (Town of Stuyvesant) passed around a copy of some art work that will be used for “cards” that will be sold in commutation. She said she would be willing to get a digital copy for the Blog site.

Mr. Westmore read a quote from a historical reference (I will get the quote) regarding Germantown and their part in history. Four mini-grant requests have been presented. There is still no official confirmation of who were awarded the grants. Ms. Cooper will try to obtain this information.

AC – Obtain mini-grant list.
SA – Submit awarded mini-grants in a press release and include on the Blog.
ET – When details regarding the Hudson HFC400 festival are ready, Ms. Thurston was advised by Supervisor Williams to make a presentation to the full Board of Supervisors.

The date of the next meeting will be September 10th, 10:30 a.m. in the Hudson Opera House. October 8th, Germantown Library (tentative)

Meeting adjourned: Promptly ended by 12 noon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Questions regarding Grants to Counties and Cities


1. What is the time frame in which the money is to be spent? By December 31, 2009.

2. What type of in-kind services is acceptable? In addition to a dollar match, in-kind services such as staff time, county employees, business donations, municipal services directly related to Quadricentennial events can be used as part of the matching funds required.

Volunteer services will not be accepted as a match.

3. Are there any restrictions for the use of the grant money? The grant would provide 50% of total costs and the municipality would provide the other 50%. Grant money should be spent on Quadricentennial related events and programs in the county and its towns and villages.

4. Definition of matching-
In addition to the in-kind services used as a match, any Quadricentennial programs or events in any of the towns and villages can be used as a match.

5. What accountability or reporting information is required? A final report of the expenses incurred should be submitted once the project is completed.

6. What can the money be spent on? Any Quadricentennial event or program except municipal services such as police or fire operational expenditures. (The services, however, can be considered as a match. No state monies can be directly paid out for these services).

7. Will a final report be required - and if so - when will that be due?
Final report which includes financial report should be submitted no later than March 1, 2010

8. Can matches be made by the grants (the organizations that will be funded through the County for Quad activity) through sponsorships, in-kind services and/or donations? yes, as long as the costs are well-documented and submitted through the county, which is the recipient of the primary grant.

9. Many county tourism agencies which are tasked with overseeing Quad activities, receive funding from ESDC for tourism purposes. Can the county use that money received from ESDC as a match? funds from other NYS governmental entities are not eligible as match.

10. Will events be eligible for Funding? Must the events be held along the canal/lake/river? Any events that have a direct relationship to the Quad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quad Committee Meeting - July 9th

We were all impressed by the location of the committee meeting in the Stuyvesant Town Hall - which was mostly built by interested citizens that donated land, etc. It is truly a good example to the rest of the county.

The meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.m. by Ms. Piwonka. We immediately obtained an update from Ms. Cooper regarding the stipulations involved in the State funding of $45k to the County and $45k to the City of Hudson. Ms. Cooper obtained a letter from the State dated June 20th that still left many unanswered questions such as how one obtains final approval, the spending deadlines and how the funds can be used (for example, could the be used for a commemorative playground focused on the river?).

It was decided that after the guidelines were clear that Ms. Cooper would inform Ms. Piwonka and she would determine if a meeting should be called outside of our regular monthly meetings.

There was also much discussion regarding how funding requests would be handled. As per the first meeting, the Quad Committee will screen applications and make a final appeal to the Tourism Committee of the Board of Supervisors. Deadlines and other information would need to be communicated to the community via direct mail and through a press release to the local papers.

We currently have four "official" events on the books and will be located in the right column of the BLOG site. Likewise, there will be an article regarding the information that will need to be submitted and the procedures to have an event recognized as "official".

Other general items were discussed and the next meeting was set for Wednesday August 13th at 10:30 a.m. at the Livingston History Barn. Notice will be submitted to the newspapers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How do I submit and event for the HFC400???

The main purpose of the County oversight committee for the HFC400 is to record planned events to be included in the State wide effort to celebrate this historic occasion. The Tourism Office for the county will then submit any qualified events to be promoted by the State.

So, how do I submit and event? You'll need the following information:

1) County (which would be Columbia County)
2) City, Village or Town
3) Event Name
4) Date of the event
5) Event organizer
6) Contact information
7) Contact email
8) Full description of the event

Take this information and email it directly to Ann Cooper -

You will be contacted within a few days and your item will be considered and added to the list. Are you not sure about how this works, or what can be include? NO problem... call any of the committee members to discuss your idea.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Copy of Resolution

Below is a copy of a "resolution" that was sent out for any county, city, town or villiage. Feel free to cirulate as needed. A copy in Microsoft Word can be obtained by emailing


Explore NY 400 Community Resolution

WHEREAS, the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission was established under Chapter 590 of the Laws of 2002, to plan, develop, and coordinate the 400th anniversary, in 2009, of the voyages of exploration made by Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton=s steamship voyage up the Hudson River; and

WHEREAS, these historic voyages of exploration in 1609 would change the world forever and lead to the European settlement of the New World and the innovation of steam travel and commerce in 1807, establishing the Hudson River and Lake Champlain as a corridor of trade, communication, politics and ideas, and that further, this vital north-south corridor of water created other water links such as the Champlain and Erie Canals, which provided opportunities inland and encouraged the westward movement through these water routes; and

WHEREAS, the State and the Federal governments recognize the voyages of exploration and invention to be of historical importance and significance to New York State and the nation and recognize the tradition to observe these contributions made by Hudson, Fulton, and Champlain, by commemorating these events in 2009,

WHEREAS, as an Explore NY 400 Community, the community may use the Explore NY 400 logo, link to the Explore NY 400 website, and may be eligible for either state or federal grant money to assist in Quadricentennial planning, events, and legacy projects; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the County/City/Town/Village named below supports the mission of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, and requests designation as an Explore NY 400 Community, and will be an active partner by establishing an Explore NY 400 Committee, and will cooperate to its fullest with the Commission in making the 400th anniversary a successful historic New York State event.

Resolution offered by:
Seconded by:
Approved by:
Date: Name of County/ City / Town /Village: ____________________________________

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quad Committee Meeting - June 11th

At this meeting, each member of the committee reviewed ideas and hoped-for plans for the 2009 celebration. There are plans to include the communities, libraries and schools in the celebration.

Ann Cooper will obtain and communicate the guidelines for being officially registered as a Quad event that could be promoted via the State office.

It was decided that a press release would go out to inform the community of the objects of the County wide Quad committee.

We also reviewed the fact that there are still many unanswered questions with regard to the state funding of $45,000 to the County and $45,000 to the City of Hudson. Many of the mini-grants were applied for and awarded, however no such information has been communicated to the Tourism office. Ms Cooper will seek to obtain this list.

It was discussed that the Quad Committee meetings are public and anyone is welcome to attend. The next meeting will be held on July 9th from 10:30 a.m. at the Stuyvesant Town Hall.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Educational Curriculum for the Quad

The Department of Education for the State of New York has released an online reference guide for the HFC400. There are nine different educational sections for the schools and three for the scholars.

Topics includes "Champlain Maps New France", "Explore with Henry", "Two Worlds Collide", "Hudson, Change over Time", and "Fulton Technology Innovation & Change".

The Scholar list includes "The Significance of Samuel de Champlain", "Henry Hudson and New Netherlands", and "Robert Fulton, Full Speed Ahead".

The web reference is:

There is also and idea for Jeopardy... a game for kids as a "PowerPoint Presentation". This could be further developed for a competition between schools.

The web reference is:

BIG GIANT HFC Legacy project for Columbia County

The New York State DEC spent $2.4 million dollars to purchase a 320 acre parcel of land from the Livingston family along the shores of the Hudson River in Columbia County.

For more information, please refer to the following website:

Columbia County Quad Committee

Members of the committee include (alpha order):
Andrews, Steele
Tourism PIT / CCOLA
Boeringer, Gretta
Hudson Library
Cooper, Annie
Tourism Department
Crowell, Tom
Land Conservancy
Gatti, Joseph
Town of Livingston
Knott, Juanita
Town of Stuyvesant Historian
McKay, Jim
Piwonka, Ruth
Kinderhook Historian
Reifler, Audrey
Friends of Clermont
Smith, Jerry
Germantown Council Member / Quad coordinator
537 6902
Thurston, Ellen
City of Hudson Quad Committee

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What happened in 1959???

To really appreciate how people celebrate major historical anniversaries, it does not hurt to review the past. The following list details events from 1959... very interesting reading.

SOME THINGS OF NOTE... THERE SEEMS to have been a 50 year anniversary for something w/ the Historical Society... so, that means 2009 would be a 100 years. Seems like we shouldn't let some of this slip by. And now the 110th anniversary of the Ghent Band... LOTS of parades, home tours and "pageants".

There was even some sort of dedication at Clarmont... which would now be 50 years old. What about re-dedications?

NOW the 300th anniversary for Germantown park? Should this go unnoticed? There was even a "BALL" at the Hudson Armory... there seems to have been a half-dozen parades of fire trucks.. wouldn't that be something to have a vintage fire-truck parade?

Hudson Champlain 1959 Celebration – Columbia County Events

May 1: Opening “House of History”
Kinderhook series of exhibits on Columbia County History Kinderhook

May 9: 165th Anniversary first volunteer fire fighting company
in NYS – J. W. Edmonds Hose Co., Hudson parade of
Hudson Valley fire units

May 10: V-E Day celebration, Chatham American Legion Post 42
Planting of tree from World War II battlefield of France,
Participation by French Military personnel, veterans. Chatham

May 23: 50th Anniversary – Livingston Grange Livingston

May 24: Antique car exhibit, automobilist of Upper Hudson Valley
Vintage car display, races, sponsored by Chatham Lions and
Exchange Clubs, fairgrounds Chatham

May 30: Opening whaling exhibit, collection of antique and historic
Items, DAR Museum, Warren Street Hudson

May 30 & 31: Memorial Day, historic observances parade Stuyvesant

June 5,6,7: Homecoming Days, tour of old homes, strawberry
Festival, pageant Claverack

June 13: Kinderhook Garden Club Summer Flower Show
St. Paul’s Church, Parish Hall – ‘Year of History’ theme Kinderhook

June 20: Opening, House of History, headquarters
Columbia County Historical Society Kinderhook

June 26 & 27: Town of Austerlitz, Reunion Days,
Dancing in Village Square, Antique Show, parade
Tour of homes, dedication historical markers, festival Austerlitz

July 4: Old Dutch Day, mobile display of historic
Pageantry, parade, fireworks Kinderhook

July 4: Hudson-Champlain Celebration Kinderhook

July 4: Pageant, Parade Niverville

July 9: Opening concert, 60th anniversary series
Ghent Town Band Ghent

July 11: Tour of old homes: 10:30 – Noon
1:30 – 4:30 Canaan

July 11: Square Dance (concert will precede the
Historical observance) Canaan

July 12: Special services in local churches Canaan

July 12: Special exercises at the Berkshire Farm for Boys Canaan

July 17 & 19: Founder’s Day, arts, crafts display Hillsdale

July 25: Columbia County Volunteer Firemen’s
Association – convention, display of apparatus
from American Museum of Firefighting Greenport

Aug. 1: Shaker Museum Festival, display of Shaker
Crafts, music, dancing, fashion show Old Chatham

Aug. 5 & 8: Town of Ghent Celebration, carnival
Historic display of township memorabilia Ghent

Aug. 15: Dedication Clermont, NY – memorial to
Robert R. Livingston, first Lord of the Manor,
By Masonic Lodges of Columba-Putnam-Dutchess
District Clermont

Sept. 6: “Year of History” Day at 119th Annual Chatham Fair,
Floats, choral singing, tableaux Chatham

Sept. 12: Town of Germantown Celebration marking
250th anniversary of arrival of Palatines at East Camp Germantown

Sept. 18: Countywide Celebration, participation by Army,
Navy, Air Force Units, floats, parade, civic, fraternal,
Veteran’s organizations. Hudson

Sept. 19: “Year of History” Ball, armory, Hudson Netherlands officials guests of honor

Monday, March 24, 2008

Quad Committee Meeting - April 24th

Items discussed included:

- Columbia County Historical Society official Commemorative Program guide, we will need to submit events by a certain date; Ms. Cooper to obtain that date for the next meeting.

- State Funding $$: we spoke of the current ambiguities of State Funding, and the fact that all the procedures have not yet been communicated. As of now, we believe there will be $45k funding to the city of Hudson and $45k to participating communities up the Hudson River.

- Funding procedures: The Quad committee will submit proposals to the Board of Supervisors Tourism Committee for final approval for spending. This way the elected officials will make the final decisions on all spending proposals.

- Blog site to track developments: Steele will draft out a Blog to track developments.

- Half-Moon: Ms. Thurston also discussed the prospects of having the Half-Moon visit Hudson. We are not yet sure of the scope and possible expense to schedule the Half-Moon into Hudson. We anticipate costs might well exceed $20,000 in total.

- Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held on June 11th at the Riverview Cafe in Stuyvesant.