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.