Plans for Hudson River quadricentennial next year
It’s all set.
River Day, the big flotilla of pleasure craft and historic vessels including the Mystic Seaport’s Whaler, will sail up the Hudson River starting June 6 for several days next year as the premier river event for the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain quadricentennial.
Tuesday, at a meeting of an estimated 85 boaters and organizations, state officials met at the Poughkeepsie restaurant Shadows to hammer out final details.
Local powerboats and sailboats would escort the historic vessels.
But the sail, which state officials hope will turn into a yearly event to kick off the annual start of boating season, won’t linger long in some places along the route from Manhattan to Albany.
That means, said meeting attendee and Newburgh city historian Mary McTamaney, that craft such as the replica 17th-century ship Onrust might tie up in Newburgh in the late afternoon of June 7 — a Sunday — and leave in the morning.
So city plans to greet the flotilla with motorcycle groups, bands and crowds don’t seem likely.
Still, she said, people might be able to get a brief but awesome look at an expected 400 boats of all sizes plowing up the Hudson River.
Newburgh hopes to organize something similar, perhaps its own working-boats event, at a later date.
A key benefit of the regatta, besides building a legacy, quadricentennial commission executive director Tara Sullivan said, is that it won’t cost the state much.
Tourism is a $1 billion business in the Hudson Valley.
By Wayne A. Hall