Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fireboat rides, light show & fireworks at Poughkeepsie waterfront

Celebrate Independence Day & the Quad on the Hudson River with a ride aboard a historic fireboat, then listen to a live band at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie. Dutchess County Tourism will offer hour-long cruises on the John J. Harvey, on Friday and Saturday, July 3 and 4. (The band plays on Saturday only.)

Also on both nights, come at dusk to see the first-ever attempts to project a laser light display on the powerful wall of water sprayed by the JJ Harvey. Dutchess Tourism says this type of display has never been done before, but Dutchess County's Quadricentennial Committee has found a lighting specialist who's confident enough to take the plunge.

The boat tours leave from the Poughkeepsie Pier at Waryas Park on Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. Rides are first come, first served, with a limited number of passengers on board for each tour. There is no charge for the cruises but donations to Dutchess County Tourism are suggested.

The Michael Dell Orchestra will perform at Waryas from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, the 4th of July. Following Saturday's laser show, the City of Poughkeepsie will sponsor a fireworks display to honor the birthday of the United States of America. After the fireworks, look for more laser lights, in an experiment to synchronize the lights to music.

Here are more details from Dutchess Tourism:

Built in 1931, MV John J. Harvey, at 130 ft and 268 net tons, is among the most powerful fireboats ever in service. She has five 600 HP diesel engines, and has the capacity to pump 18,000 gallons of water a minute. Her pumps are powerful; enough so that when she and the George Washington Bridge were both brand new, she shot water over the bridge's roadway.

She was retired by the New York City Fire Department in 1994, but on September 11, 2001, she answered her nation's call when she fought the fires resulting from the terrorist strikes at the World Trade Center. First the crew evacuated some 150 people, and then tied up nearby to provide pumping capacity since hydrants were not working. She and her crew stayed on duty for 3 days, fighting fires for more than 80 hours. The JJ Harvey was bought at auction by her current owners in 1999, restored and placed on The National Register of Historic Places in June 2000.

There are no advance reservations for these tours. Note to women, do not wear high heels! Children ages 12 and under must wear a life preserver at all times while on the boat. Make sure your family takes advantage of this unique opportunity to explore Dutchess County’s wonderful assets, our rich history and natural scenic beauty.

Dutchess County Tourism hosts the JJ Harvey as it docks in Poughkeepsie. Sponsors are Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company, Poughkeepsie Journal, City of Poughkeepsie and the County of Dutchess. All proceeds will be applied to promoting tourism in Dutchess County. Dutchess County Tourism is a division of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and is funded by the County of Dutchess. Visit for information.

If you cannot read the poster (above), click on it to make it larger.

No comments: