Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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

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