Friday, May 29, 2009

See flotilla at Clermont on June 11

The Flotilla on the Hudson, a parade of ships from New York City to Albany in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the river that bears his name, will go past Clermont State Historic Site (just north of Tivoli and the Dutchess-Columbia county border) around noon on June 11. It will be led by flagships Half-Moon, Clearwater, Cleveland, Harvey, and Onrust. This would be a nice spot to watch it.

Here are more details from the historic site:

The Relay Flotilla begins on June 6 in New York City and will reach its destination on June 13. Boat and yacht clubs along the way will send out their members to join the Flotilla as it heads north. As part of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, on June 11 the Relay Flotilla will be paying its respects to Clermont State Historic Site, the historic home of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, collaborator of Robert Fulton in the famed 1807 steamboat, the North River (popularly known as the Clermont) and a stop on the steamboat's maiden voyage.

Picnickers are welcome to witness this historic event from the grounds and share an exceptional view of the Flotilla free-of-charge at this afternoon sail-by. At 11:30 a.m., curator Ashley Hopkins-Benton will be giving a family-friendly talk on the 1909 Hoopla on the Hudson celebration and comparing it to the 2009 celebrations. Tours of the mansion will be offered for $5 per adult, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and under beginning at 11 a.m. and running until 4 p.m. More information is at this Web site.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Champlain's legacy

Vermont Public Radio is looking at the legacy of Samuel de Champlain, as the Quad is just as much about the 400th anniversary of his exploration of the lake that bears his name as it is about Henry Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River and Robert Fulton's pioneering development of the steamboat.

Here is the station's report on one person who is taking part in the "Quadricentennial Voyage: In Search of Samuel de Champlain's France," a ten-day journey for friends of Burlington City Arts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poughkeepsie Shipyards theater project photos

Here is a slide show and an article from the Poughkeepsie Journal about the Poughkeepsie Shipyards waterfront theater project that we wrote about last week.

River Day Dance

Walkway Over the Hudson, the group working to turn the Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge into a pedestrian park, hopes to raise money for the project with a dinner-dance June 9 at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum Pavilion (which has views of the project.)

Here is the group's release about the event:

When the Halfmoon, the Clearwater, and the rest of the Quadricentennial Flotilla arrive in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday, June 9, hundreds of Walkway Over the Hudson supporters are expected to cheer them on from the River Day Dance celebration at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum Pavilion.

Walkway Over the Hudson, the nonprofit leading the effort to the transform the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge into the world’s longest elevated pedestrian park, is hosting the dinner-dance fundraiser from 5-8 p.m. at the Pavilion located at 75 North Water Street along the City of Poughkeepsie’s northern waterfront.

“This will be a wonderful opportunity for Walkway supporters to dine and dance along the Poughkeepsie waterfront while watching the Quadricentennial Flotilla arrive from a great vantage point at the Children’s Museum Pavilion,” said Walkway Executive Director Amy Husten. “And they’ll be helping Walkway Over the Hudson raise funds for its capital campaign in the shadow of the railroad bridge. It’s the perfect event.”

The $40 admission charge covers dinner by Lola’s Café and beer and wine donated by Mahoney’s Irish Pub. (Children under 10 years old will be admitted free.) Music will be provided by a popular area DJ and raffles and other fun activities are planned. Reservations are required as seating is limited. To reserve seats please visit or call 845-454-9649.

With construction now underway on both sides of the Hudson River, crews have been making steady progress laying concrete panels and installing railings along the 1.25-mile former railroad bridge and are expected to finish the core project in September, 2009.

When the Walkway Over the Hudson is completed it will become the longest elevated pedestrian park in the world and serve as the Mid-Hudson Valley’s legacy project for New York State’s Quadricentennial Celebration. At that point, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation plans to begin managing the Walkway as a new state park. A grand opening celebration is planned for the weekend of Oct. 2, 2009. For more information about the Walkway Over the Hudson project and upcoming activities please visit or call 845-454-9649 for more information.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Life Along the Hudson photo exhibit

From June 20 to October 4, the Albany Institute of History & Art welcomes Life Along the Hudson: Photographs by Joseph Squillante, a collection of more than 30 black-and-white images portraying the artist’s devotion to the river’s natural beauty and to preserving its bountiful resources.

Here is more about the artist from a release for the exhibit:

Joseph Squillante has spent the past three decades traveling the entire length of the Hudson. Like the Hudson River School landscape painters before him, some of his photographs capture the beauty and romantic quality of the river, while others focus on people who live and work along its shores.
Just as the photographs of the Adirondacks by Seneca Ray Stoddard in the late 1800s aided in the designation of the area as a state park, Squillante’s photographs of the Hudson River have raised public awareness of the river’s importance. His commitment to helping transform the Hudson into a cleaner and more esteemed natural resource has earned him the respect of the Hudson River community. He has worked closely with the Riverkeeper organization, receiving its River Rat Award in 1997; with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, founded by Pete Seeger; and with Scenic Hudson, which gave him its 2005 Hudson Valley Hero Award. Three additional images by Squillante, including a portrait of Seeger, are included within the Albany Institute’s current exhibition, Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of History, Art, and Culture.
Although he has seen much ugliness on the Hudson—including chemical discharge, oil spills, and industrial plant explosions—Squillante has kept his lens trained on the river’s natural splendor. “It’s the beauty that matters,” he said. “That’s what makes people aware of this national treasure. My whole mission is to raise awareness of the beauty of the river through photography.”

Friday, May 22, 2009

Commemorative Quad Wine Label

A Quadricentennial commemorative wine label will brand special 2009 releases of Hudson Valley wine. The Hudson Valley Wine Goddess has more about it on her blog.

2009 River Summit

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 River Summit, which will take place on Monday, June 8 at The Thayer Hotel at West Point, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Discussion will focus on revitalizing and sustaining the river valley environment for the benefit of all its residents.

Organized by the DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program, the event is co-sponsored by Historic Hudson River Towns, Clearwater, Hudson River Foundation, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, The Hudson River Environmental Society, The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and others.

Other speakers will include Katie Dolan, The Nature Conservancy; Frances Dunwell, NYS DEC; Roland Lewis, The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance; Barney Molloy, Historic Hudson River Towns; Alex Matthiessen, Riverkeeper; Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater; Ned Sullivan, Scenic Hudson; Dennis Suszkowski, Hudson River Foundation; and Jim Tierney, NYS DEC.

Advance registration is required due to space limitations. The cost per person is $30 and includes all sessions and lunch. To register, call Historic Hudson River Towns at 914-232-6583.

For more information about the River Summit, e-mail or call 845-256-3016. For directions to The Thayer Hotel, go to or call 845-446-4731.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War

The Simon Studio in association with the City of Poughkeepsie will present the world premier of The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War at 3:15 p.m. May 26 (a Tuesday) in the parking lot at Shadow's restaurant on Rinaldi Boulevard, near Poughkeepsie's waterfront.

Here are the details from the release:

Sponsored by Marshall and Sterling, St. Francis Hospital, the Grandview and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, this special Quadricentennial event will be presented one time only on TUESDAY, MAY 26 at 3:15 pm as an historical military pageant on Poughkeepsie's Hudson River waterfront at Ship Yard Point.  Admission is free and open to the public. 

As an added note of interest, it will be performed outdoors in the parking lot of Shadows Restaurant - just north of the ship yard's original historical site where the play's 18th century story actually unfolded. 

Written by Nicholas Conti of Beacon, it is directed and produced by Roger Hendricks Simon, artistic director of THE SIMON STUDIO in NYC and Poughkeepsie.  Mr. Simon has been associated with the NY Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep and London's Royal Court Theatre. 

This performance celebrates a pivotal chapter of local, NY state and national history - the building and activity associated with the Revolutionary War Continental Congress Ship Yards at "Ship Yard Point" in Poughkeepsie. 

Nancy Cozean, chair of the Celebration Committee, coordinator of the event and former mayor of Poughkeepsie, said, "This pageant is one of the real highlights of our Quad celebration.  I am constantly amazed at the rich history of our City, but this event embodies a decisive moment in our state and nation's history." 

Director Simon adds that the performance's location is a thematic key.  "I wanted to stage this pageant on the actual site where the events actually occurred rather than in a traditional theater.  That way we truly feel like we're reliving our history.  Those 18th century events were real drama.  Then as now we felt under seige and in real danger.  The British were the terrorists then." 

Included in the pageant will be Revolutionary War drills and members of our military services.  The US Coast Guard Cutter, The Sturgeon Bay, The Navy Heritage Center in Washington, D.C., the US Military Academy Band, The Hellcats from West Point along with the NYS Navy Militia and a historic replica of a revolutionary boat from New Jersey will participate and be part of a flotilla of ships in the river as a back drop to the event.  A unique cast of both professional and local actors, singers, musicians and civic leaders will be joined by the Kreiger School Colonialists and the area Continental Army and Zuavaes along with military, city, state and national leaders as well. 

In particular Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyak and Colonel James Johnson among others will participate in the pageant's Grand Finale - the dedication ceremony of a plaque commemorating the historical ship yards. 
Cast members include Tyler Barden, Steve Wing, Peter Leonard, Ralph Cashen, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Peter Bedrosian, Doug Nobiletti, Brett Owen, Rob Rondon, Ron and Gloria Robbins, Peter Walker and members of the Walker Family Band.  Associate Director is Blair Wing and Stage Manager is Teresa Gasparini. 

This is the third in a series of PUBLIC THEATRE site specific original historical dramas produced by THE SIMON STUDIO and the City of Poughkeepsie.  Each production uniquely combined professional actors with local civic, community and political leaders reflecting the historical roles they played. 

The first was THE DECIDING VOTE - about the ratification of the US Constitution in 1787 Poughkeepsie and produced at the Dutchess County Courthouse - the actual historical site of the event.  Next came LAND OF THE FREE - about the Amistad trials and commemorating the underground railroad movement in the Poughkeepsie area.  That performance was presented outdoors in Waryas Park and used the docked Amistad ship museum and the Hudson River as its backdrop. 

For further information on this Revolutionary Pageant call THE SIMON STUDIO at 845-485-9829 or 212-841-0204 or

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

River photo contest April winner!

Richard Krutick has won both first place and honorable mention in the Poughkeepsie Journal's Quadricentennial Photo Contest for April. Read about the photographer and see his outstanding images at the Hudson Happenings Web site.

Ulster County's June events

Here's news from the Ulster County Quadricentennial Arts Celebration Committee about Quad-related activities in Ulster County during June:

On the evening of June 10, a flotilla of heritage ships en route from New York City to Albany will sail up the Rondout Creek, approximately 90 miles north of Manhattan, and dock along the Kingston waterfront. The ships, which include replicas of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon and a Dutch 17th-century sloop, will retrace the English navigator’s epoch-making voyage 400 years ago up the river that bears his name.

Two tugboats and a World War II PT boat will escort the ships, whose entrance will be greeted by booming cannon and clanging church bells. A vintage trolley will convey viewers out to a riverside park. Later in the evening, renowned old-time folk musicians Jay Unger and Molly Mason will perform at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, resurrecting the sounds of a lost era. The free performance will be broadcast live on public radio station WAMC. The next morning, the ships will depart, continuing their voyage north in a retracing of Hudson’s voyage.

Three days later, on June 13, the Senate House State Historic Site, located in Kingston’s Stockade district, will host a colonial Dutch festival. Here and at other historic venues, there will be exhibits of documents in the original Dutch and other memorabilia form the colonial period and displays of Native American implements dating back hundreds of years. Visitors can also tour historic stone houses and observe encampments from the Civil and Revolutionary wars.

But it’s not just history that will celebrated. Ulster County is also home to one of the nation’s most vibrant arts community, which will be contributing playful and provocative interpretations of Hudson's voyage and the river he made famous in numerous art exhibits and outdoor sculpture shows. Opening on Saturday, June 13 and running through October, is a display of “memorials” to the English navigator at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild entitled “Ahoy! Where Lies Henry Hudson?” They are being crafted by 12 selected architects out of environmentally sensitive materials and refer to a mystery: after 1609 on a subsequent voyage, Hudson was set adrift in a rowboat off the coast of Labrador after his men mutinied and was never seen again. The works will be displayed on the forested grounds of the historic art colony, whose rusticated buildings were built at the turn of the last century on a mountainside overlooking Woodstock.

A 20-minute drive away, in the village of Saugerties, visitors will discover a delightful surprise in the classic retro American downtown: 45 carousel horses, each painted and decorated by a different artist, perched along the sidewalks. While the flotilla of ships leaving Kingston June 11 will not stop in Saugerties, they’ll get a welcome anyway, with representatives of the village planning to canoe out into the river to wave “hello.”

For complete information, visit the website at While visiting the site enter the TomTom giveaway for a GPS device that will help you find your way around, and check out the list of participating restaurants and lodgings offering Quad specials. The Ulster County Quadricentennial Arts Celebration Committee, which is overseeing the marketing of Quad events, received funding for its efforts from the Cultural Tourism Initiative, a project of the Arts and Business Council of New York and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tour Poughkeepsie's waterfront homes

The Dutchess County Historical Society will celebrate the Quad and three centuries of waterfront living in Poughkeepsie during this year's Silver Ribbon House Tour.

Each participant will receive a map with information about the tour's 11 sites, and may explore during the day at his or her own pace. This will be the first time the tour, which takes place June 6, has been held in Poughkeepsie since 1994.

Cost is $40 for Dutchess County Historical Society members; $45 for nonmembers; $50 on the day of the tour. More information is in this Poughkeepsie Journal article.

Half Moon Tours

Half Moon Tours - open to the public 12-5 Sun. 5/24 and Mon. 5/25 at Waryas Park. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Limited capacity, first come, first served.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dutch Heritage Day in Poughkeepsie

The Poughkeepsie Plaza at 2600 South Road, Route 9, will host a Dutch Heritage Day on May 30 from noon to 5 p.m. The plaza is still seeking exhibitors or any individuals who have something to share about the heritage of this area or about early the Dutch settlers.

More info is in this Poughkeepsie Journal article.

Walkway airs on Project Xtreme

The Walkway Over the Hudson will be featured on the DIY Network series Project Xtreme this week.

Here is the announcement from the Walkway folks:

Walkway Featured on DIY’s ‘Project Xtreme’ May 19
Walkway Episode to be Aired Four Times

HIGHLAND, N.Y.—Fans of Walkway Over the Hudson and the DIY Network will have a lot to cheer about at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 when the Walkway is featured on the network’s popular series, Project Xtreme. The debut airing of the 30-minute show chronicles host Matt Blashaw’s efforts to assist construction workers precariously perched 212 feet above the Hudson River.

“This is a marvelous opportunity for the community to see the Walkway under construction on national television,” said Walkway Chairman Fred Schaeffer.

The episode will air four times altogether: May 19 at 10 p.m., May 20 at 2 a.m., May 26 at 10 p.m., and May 27 at 2 a.m.

With cameras rolling and temperatures near freezing last November, Blashaw joined workers from the Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors company conducting steel repairs and placing concrete decking panels on the 120-year-old structure that spans the Hudson River between the City of Poughkeepsie and the Town of Lloyd. Harrison & Burrowes of Glennville, New York is serving as the general contractor for the Walkway Over the Hudson project, which is scheduled to be completed by September, 2009 in time for the park to serve as the legacy project for the state’s Quadricentennial Celebration.

“We want our viewers to experience what an extreme project is all about,” said Ross Babbit, director of programming at DIY Network. “The Walkway project certainly is extreme!”

Project Xtreme takes viewers behind the scenes of perilous projects and introduces them to the trained professionals who take on these tough tasks. Blashaw shows just how challenging jobs—including scaling the side of a Chicago high-rise to construct a building using plywood and concrete and giving Disney Cruise Line’s inaugural ship a required facelift—can be and what it’s like for the people who do them every day.

“This will share our vision for the future Walkway Over the Hudson park with DIY’s millions of viewers throughout the world, which is especially important while we are in the midst of a focused capital campaign to raise funds to support the project,” said Walkway Executive Director Amy Husten, referring to the project’s ongoing fundraising drive. “What’s more, we think the show will help to introduce the world to the beauty and the grandeur of the Mid-Hudson Valley.”

The $35.5 million Walkway Over the Hudson project broke ground on May 27, 2008 under an expedited 15-month construction schedule. Construction at the site has progressed smoothly and on schedule as Harrison & Burrows’ crews have installed almost half of the nearly 900 prefabricated concrete panels that will be needed to serve as the 1.25-mile long Walkway’s new deck. Meanwhile, steel repairs are being conducted as railings and other amenities are being installed simultaneously in an effort to maintain the ambitious construction schedule.

For more information about Walkway Over the Hudson visit or call the office at 845-454-9649.

Poughkeepsie Early American festival

An Early American festival will take place on Sunday as part of the City of Poughkeepsie’s Quadricentennial celebrations. A native American prayer ceremony, a community mural project, displays, lectures, and public tours on the replica of explorer Henry Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, will be part of it. More information is in this Poughkeepsie Journal article.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Millbrook Book Festival has Quad theme

Don't forget the Millbrook Book Festival, which takes place tonight and Saturday with panel discussions, book signings and even a parade. This year's theme? The 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's journey up the river that now bears his name. Speakers include author Frances Dunwell, who will discuss her book The Hudson: America's River at 7 p.m. tonight.

The free event will take place at several locations in the village today and Saturday. More information is in this Poughkeepsie Journal article.

Find MORE Quad events!

Where can you find more Quad activities in our region? Go to the HudsonHappenings Web site and enter "quadricentennial" in the search box on top, click "calendar" and then click "go" -- voila! Lots of choices of things to do (and also a place for you to enter your own Quad event into the database.)

Journey of Peace

Tomorrow (Saturday), a Plattsburgh State University professor will begin a 46-day walk from Montreal to Manhattan in honor of the Quad. Kevin Dann is calling it his Journey of Peace and wants to inspire people to tell stories about the peacemakers in the towns he visits along the way. The story, from WPTZ, is here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shad Fest becomes Springtide Festival

The Hudson River Maritime Museum's "Springtide Festival" takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday along the Rondout waterfront in Kingston. The event used to be called the Shad Festival, but was changed in 2008 when conservation groups noticed a decline in the numbers of shad and asked organizations not to serve shad or shad roe at their events. The Museum's spring festival instead focuses on the shad’s birth and spawning venue – the Hudson River.

This year, in honor of the 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration and the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s 1609 voyage, HRMM has put together a display of 400 years of living and boating on the Hudson River. Boats that will be present at the museum’s waterfront dock and in the yard will include a Native American canoe, small steamboat, kayak, wooden sailboat, “perriauger”, the “Lark” (boat used to ferry visitors to the Rondout II Lighthouse), HRMM’s 1898 steam tug “Mathilda”, 24-foot sea skiff – even a ’57 Chevy boat.

There will also be numerous displays and exhibits, live entertainment, and Taste of the Rondout where local restaurateurs will serve "alfresco" samples of their regional cuisine in the museum's park-like waterfront yard. Hot dogs, veggie dogs and soft drinks will also be available for purchase.

More details and directions are at the Hudson River Maritime Museum Web site.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flotilla's Westchester agenda

Before the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial flotilla arrives in the Mid-Hudson area next month, it will make a few stops south of here. Westchester County has planned a series of events for its River Day. Here are the details from the Westchester County Office of Tourism:

River Day Weekend, June 6th and 7th, is a celebration of Henry Hudson’s historic 1609 voyage and a weekend of fun, fairs, festivals and fireworks! On Saturday morning, June 6th, the flotilla makes its way up the Hudson from New York Harbor as part of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial. Cities and villages along Westchester’s Hudson River are celebrating with a series of events for the entire family.

Flagships such as Henry Hudson’s Half Moon replica, the Clearwater sloop, the Woodie Guthrie and Onrust will lead the flotilla, making stops along the way. The flotilla will be welcomed with cannon fire and church bells as it travels the Hudson. The Clearwater and Mystic Whaler will dock overnight at the Tarrytown Boat Club and the Woodie Guthrie, Shearwater and Riverkeeper’s teaching boat will dock at the Hudson Harbor bulkhead. Both the Clearwater and Riverkeeper vessel will be welcoming visitors aboard. The other ships will dock in Rockland County. The flotilla heads north on the Hudson promptly at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 7th.

“River Day Weekend will be a very exciting time in Westchester,” said Kim Sinistore, Director, Westchester County Office of Tourism, “Visitors and residents of all ages have the opportunity to be part of history. They can view the flotilla, attend arts festivals and street fairs, learn about the river and its environs, play games, write poetry, hear live music and enjoy fireworks. This is the perfect weekend for a getaway to Westchester - A Great Place to Play!”

Saturday events include the Sleepy Hollow Arts Festival and Field Day; the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse will be open for tours; activities and entertainment along the waterfront in Yonkers and Irvington; live music at the Tarrytown waterfront in the evening and fireworks at 9pm. On Sunday in Tarrytown, Lyndhurst is the location for Westchester’s legacy Quadricentennial event “Hudson River Fest”; the Annual Main Street Fair and the Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival; “A Taste of Ossining” in Ossining’s Engle Park; festivities and entertainment in Peekskill’s Riverfront Park; and the 2nd Annual Rivertowns Jazz and Blues Festival continues from Yonkers to Tarrytown, June 5th thru the 14th.

For additional River Day Weekend and Quadricentennial information, please visit and click on Quadricentennial

Bridge music

Beacon composer Joseph Bertolozzi is on the Mid-Hudson Bridge this morning to install listening kiosks that will feature music he makes using the span that links the east and west shores of the Hudson River as an "instrument". It's part of the local Quadricentennial celebrations. You can read about it in this Poughkeepsie Journal news story.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Paddle or bike the valley for the Quad

Two Quad-linked offerings this summer for outdoor recreation enthusiasts:

For bicyclists

Join cyclists from all over the country for the 5th annual 6-day, 200-mile, Great Hudson Valley Pedal Aug. 11-16, 2009 through the picturesque and historic Hudson Valley. Registration is now open. More details at

For paddlers

The Great Champlain-Hudson Paddle is a 15 day, 195 mile kayaking and camping trip from Fort Edward to Manhattan along the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River from Aug. 3-17, 2009. A group of Thru-Paddlers will be camping out in state and local parks along the way and visiting heritage and cultural sites in the communities in which they will be staying. The event is designed for paddlers of varied skill levels and those new to paddling. For experienced, committed paddlers it's a chance to paddle 195 miles from Fort Edward to New York City. For new paddlers or less experienced paddlers it is a chance to get out on the water under the tutelage of knowledgeable local outfitters for a shorter period of time.
There are several ways for paddlers to join us; you may apply for a slot as a Thru-Paddler or Getaway Paddler, sign up with a local outfitter for a Day Paddle, or join us at a Festival and experience kayaking for the first time. Visit for more info.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Get on the Half Moon

Here is more info from Dutchess Tourism about a Quadricentennial event in Poughkeepsie over Memorial Day weekend that we first told you about last week.

Tour the HALF MOON ship in Poughkeepsie on Memorial Day weekend

Get ready to go way back in time, as the Half Moon sails into Dutchess County and docks at Waryas Park on Main Street from Saturday to Monday, May 23-25. No, not the Dutch East India Company ship that sailed into New York Harbor in 1609, but the beautiful full-scale, operating replica of the Dutch ship. The Half Moon (Halve Maen in Dutch) now serves as a traveling museum, conducting programs about the history of the Dutch colony, New Netherland. Walk the plank and tour inside the wooden ship, where Hudson and his crew of 23 ate, slept and worked for an entire year. Learn about their remarkable journey and the Native Americans they met on our shores.

The Half Moon is open for guided tours in Poughkeepsie on Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend from 12 noon to 5 pm; the last tour is given at 4 pm. Admission is $7, and $5 for seniors and students ages 12-18; children under 12 are $1, and must be accompanied by an adult. You can buy your tickets in advance online through Pay Pal at

Enjoy plenty of waterfront activities before and after your tour! On Sunday only, there's a free Early American family festival from noon to 4 pm also at Waryas Park. Dutchess County Tourism and City of Poughkeepsie host the Half Moon for this, the first time ever the ship docks in Poughkeepsie.

Sponsors are Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company, Marist College, Poughkeepsie Journal and the County of Dutchess. Don't miss this chance to discover the Hudson and 400 years of history for yourself!

The Quadricentennial celebration is a unique opportunity to explore our county’s wonderful assets, our rich history and scenic beauty. The Half Moon stays in Poughkeepsie to host school children and conduct group tours on Tuesday and Wednesday. Visit and  for information.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quad tulips in bloom in historic Kingston

You can see some beautiful photos of the tulips in bloom that were planted last fall by the Wiltwyck Chapter DAR in Kingston's historic district to honor the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial. Go to this Facebook site and click on the Photos link.

Hudson-Fulton Stamp Cancellation

It's only going to take place for an hour, but on May 15, from noon to 1 p.m., you can pick up a collectible during the special Hudson-Fulton Stamp Cancellation at Poughkeepsie's main Post Office, at 55 Mansion Street.

Shown above is the image on the commemorative cover, designed by Franc Palaia and sponsored by Ahsan & Associates Patent, Trademark & Intellectual Property Law. The commemorative stamp is sponsored by Gellert & Klein General Practice Law Firm.

UPDATE May 13: Here's a story from the Poughkeepsie Journal with more information --

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free Hudson River map

Hudson Valley Tourism is offering a free Hudson River waterfront map that shows riverfront access, marinas, waterside restaurants, boat cruises, and more. It’s waterproof and would be useful for mapping out events surrounding the eight days of "River Day," which starts on June 6 when a flotilla of boats makes its way upriver in celebration of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial. To receive the map, call 800-232-4782.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New trail network

Here's a message from Scenic Hudson about the Walkway Loop Trail, a 3.5-mile trail slated for completion in October that will link waterfront attractions on the eastern and western shores of the Hudson.

New Trail Network to Connect with Walkway, Local Attractions

When Walkway Over the Hudson State Park opens this October as a high point in the state’s Quadricentennial celebrations, visitors will be able to enhance their experience by having easy access to area parks, historic destinations, restaurants, marinas and other points of interest along the Poughkeepsie and Lloyd waterfronts. The vision is to provide Walkway visitors with an array of scenic and cultural destinations that will promote recreational and business activity along nearby shorelines and downtowns on both sides of the Hudson. A unique team featuring representatives from state and local government, a regional land preservation nonprofit, a local rail trail nonprofit and local residents is behind the project – called the Walkway Loop Trail.

Details of the Walkway Loop Trail
The Walkway Loop Trail will connect Walkway Over the Hudson and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge and traverse a number of existing local roads and trails for a total length of approximately 3.5 miles. The loop trail will open at the same time as Walkway Over the Hudson on Saturday, October 3, for the Quadricentennial celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s legendary voyage. Initially the trail on the Poughkeepsie side of the Hudson will travel along the riverfront and then inland a few blocks to reach access to the Walkway Over the Hudson. Next year plans call for an elevator that will provide direct access to the Walkway Over the Hudson from Poughkeepsie’s waterfront on existing and proposed pedestrian esplanades and trails.

To help visitors navigate the Walkway Loop Trail, the team creating it is designing four large panels that will show the entire route as well as connections to additional trails. More than 25 Walkway Loop Trail markers will be placed along the route, and copies of a loop trail map will be available.

Additional connections in Lloyd and Poughkeepsie
From the Walkway Loop Trail, people will be able to connect with additional trails that exist or are being created. These additional trails include in Highland the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, which is scheduled to open with Walkway Over the Hudson, and also in Poughkeepsie the Dutchess Rail Trail, which is planned to open in 2010. Parks that will be accessible from the Walkway Loop Trail on the Lloyd side of the Hudson include Franny Reese State Park, created by Scenic Hudson; the new Highland Landing Park, created by Scenic Hudson and the Town of Lloyd; and Johnson-Iorio Memorial Park. On the Poughkeepsie side the connections will include Kaal Rock Park, an important historic site; Waryas Park; and eventually Long View Park at Marist College. In addition Lloyd and Poughkeepsie are seeking to create connections that will encourage visitors to explore the historical, cultural and artistic treasures just inland from the Hudson. To date 50 destinations have been identified for this initiative.

Stakeholders come together to create Walkway Loop Trail
In October 2008 Scenic Hudson suggested the idea of the loop trail to City of Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik and other city officials. Shortly afterward Scenic Hudson convened a group of interested parties to explore the project. The group has been meeting monthly and includes representatives from the Town of Lloyd; City of Poughkeepsie; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Bridge Authority; Walkway Over the Hudson; Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association; Scenic Hudson; and several community leaders such as Nancy Cozean, former City of Poughkeepsie mayor and now coordinator for Poughkeepsie’s Quadricentennial celebrations, and Joseph Bertolozzi, composer of “Bridge Music,” percussion pieces he creates by “playing” the Mid-Hudson Bridge. His “Bridge Music” will be accessible at permanent listening stations on the bridge and the Lloyd and Poughkeepsie waterfronts. Design firms Pirtle Design and Bergmann Associates also have contributed to the project.

Walkway Loop Trail has economic advantages too

The loop trail and the links it provides to numerous waterfront and community attractions will help already potent tourism enterprises in Dutchess and Ulster counties. Already Dutchess County enjoys more than $447 million annually in tourism spending, and the figure is $388 million for Ulster County. The Walkway Loop Trail also will showcase the region’s unique beauty, nature and quality of life – all leading selling points for doing business in the valley, according to a report by Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Ned Sullivan, president of Scenic Hudson, said, “The loop trail offers an exciting opportunity to enjoy waterfront offerings on both sides of the Hudson. Scenic Hudson wanted to get involved as an extension of the $1 million we contributed to Walkway Over the Hudson. We know how much walkers, runners and cyclists will appreciate opportunities to explore the 30 miles of connected trails that showcase the river’s and valley’s beauty and history. This project, like Scenic Hudson’s collaborative campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most, will create an enduring legacy for the Quadricentennial and help boost the region’s economy.”

James P. Sproat, chairman of the New York State Bridge Authority, said, “By providing a southern link in this loop trail, we’re pleased that the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge will play an important part in forwarding the recreational and economic development opportunities that Walkway Over the Hudson will bring to both shores of the river.”

John C. Tkazyik, mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, said, “We are fortunate as a city to be linked across the Hudson by the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. The bridge will bring business to our community and will be great for stimulating our local economy by drawing visitors to the region from all across New York State and surrounding regions. We look forward to providing visitors with all that our city has to offer in business, art and our local heritage.”

Joseph Bertolozzi, composer of “Bridge Music,” said, “The trail loop is a brilliant gathering of existing threads into a new fabric. Connecting independent attractions like “Bridge Music,” Walkway Over the Hudson and the Rail Trail is a masterpiece of organization. I thank all who’ve been part of the effort.”

Nancy Cozean, chair of Quadricentennial events in Poughkeepsie, said, “The Walkway Loop Trail will offer visitors and residents a unique opportunity to see the great diversity of our Hudson Valley. From environmental and rural resources on the western side of the Hudson River to the urban neighborhoods and historical sites on the eastern shore, walkers can experience two different pictures of our Hudson Valley that are linked by our signature bridges. It’s a trail you won’t want to miss.”

About the Walkway Loop Trail
The Walkway Loop Trail when completed in October 2009 will be a 3.5-mile trail linking waterfront attractions on the eastern and western shores of the Hudson. The trail will cross the existing pedestrian walkway on the north side of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and Walkway Over the Hudson State Park, formerly the dilapidated Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge before being transformed into the world’s highest and longest pedestrian walkway. In Highland the trail will pass through Johnson-Iorio Memorial Park and link to two new parks – Franny Reese State Park and Highland Landing Park. Sites along the loop trail in Poughkeepsie will include Waryas Park, which features a boat launch and café, and the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, with its river-themed exhibits. The Walkway Loop Trail also will link with the Dutchess Rail Trail, due to be completed in 2010, and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, due to be completed for the October 2009 opening of Walkway Over the Hudson. When complete the Walkway Loop Trail and connecting trails will constitute nearly 30 miles of off-road fun for walkers, runners and bicyclists. More trail connections are anticipated.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Half Moon sails in!

Dutchess Tourism has announced a May 24-25 Memorial Day weekend Quadricentennial festival at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie that will feature a chance to tour the Half Moon, a replica of Henry Hudson's ship.

There are more details and a place to buy advance tickets at this Web site.

Hudson River Day flotilla events

The folks at the Quadricentennial-NY 400th Office have released the schedule for River Day, the June 5-13 flotilla from New York City to Albany that will be part of the Quad celebrations.

The flotilla is expected to arrive at the Newburgh waterfront in the early evening of June 7, where there will be a cannon welcome and music celebration. After a number of events in the Newburgh/Beacon area, it will depart for Poughkeepsie in the late afternoon of June 9, where it will remain through late afternoon on June 10, when it will depart for Kingston, Saugerties and Catskill.

Here is the full release:

JUNE 5 (Friday)-evening “launch” celebration in New York Harbor.
“Harbor Night" with the Blessing of the Fleet, and festivities at Battery Park.
6pm-Ship assembly in front of Liberty Island and muster for photo op in the harbor against the Manhattan skyline.
6:30pm Blessing of the Fleet and music at Battery Park.
Anchor or dock for dinner/party at boat/yacht clubs.
Overnight for seven flagships.

JUNE 6 (Saturday)-early morning with 8:00am pick-up of dignitaries at various overnight docking locations
and Circle Line at 42nd Street.
9am start of flotilla at Statue of Liberty joined by some of our River Day sponsors: Circle Line, Water Taxi, Scarano
Boat Works, SeaTow, Discover Boating, North Cover Yacht Club, NYS Canal Corporation and Launch Five.
Parade by Harlem, Cloisters, Yonkers, and Hudson River Museum.
Arrival in Tarrytown and Nyack area around 5-6pm for cannon welcome, festivities and fireworks.
Overnight for flagships-Onrust at Nyack Boat Club, all others in vicinity of Tarrytown and Piermont.

JUNE 7 (Sunday)-departure at 8am.
Arrival in Haverstraw and Croton by 11am for midday celebration, leaving Haverstraw by 2pm.
Parade by Stony Point, Peekskill, and other communities.
Parade by West Point to 16 cannon salute.
Arrival and cannon welcome in Newburgh/Beacon around 5-6pm.
Newburgh hosting music, Dutch singers and festivities.
Long Dock Beacon-Scenic Hudson hosting Welcome the Fleet Festival with music and cuisine.
Overnight for flagships-Clearwater, Mystic and Woody in Beacon; Half Moon, Onrust, Harvey and Cleveland in Newburgh.

JUNE 8 (Monday)-flagships stay in Beacon/Newburgh for educational programs all day.
Jet fly-overs, West Point Band and other festivities.

JUNE 9 (Tuesday)-flagships stay in Beacon/Newburgh for educational programs all day.
Depart Beacon/Newburgh at 4pm.
Arrival and cannon welcome (6pm) in Poughkeepsie area for festivities including ribbon cutting,
marching bands and cake with 400 candles.
Overnight for flagships-Poughkeepsie, Marist, and boat clubs.

JUNE 10 (Wednesday)-flagships remain in Poughkeepsie all day for educational activities.
Depart Poughkeepsie at 4-5pm.
Parade by Hyde Park State Historic Site.
Arrival and cannon welcome (6:30pm) in Kingston for celebration at the Kingston Maritime Museum.
Overnight for ships at the Museum and Rondout Marinas.

JUNE 11 (Thursday)-remain in Kingston for school groups from 8 to 11am.
Arrive and circle Saugerties Light House around noon to 2 for school groups.
Parade by Clermont State Historic Site.
Arrival and cannon welcome in Catskill/Hudson/Athens by 6pm with ribbon cutting, reception, and festivities.
Overnight for flagships-Half Moon and Cleveland in Catskill, Clearwater and Harvey in Hudson, and Onrust in Athens.

JUNE 12 (Friday)-remain in Catskill/Hudson/Athens area for school groups until noon.
Arrival and cannon welcome in Castleton at 4 for special final night dinner and fireworks.
Overnight for flagships-Clearwater and Onrust and Naval Militia at Castleton Boat Club, Half Moon, Cleveland and Harvey at Brick Yard.

JUNE 13 (Saturday)-depart Castleton at 11am.
Arrival at 12:30 for final cannon welcome and day-long celebrations including Yankee Doodle Band,
Fort Crailo exhibit, and Blessing of the Fleet.
Half Moon in Albany, Clearwater and Onrust in Rensselaer.