Celebrating River Day

On June 6th, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow will join with the communities up and down the Hudson Valley in "Celebrating River Day," commemorating the third voyage of Henry Hudson.

imagesA flotilla of historic vessels will be arriving at our waterfront and we have a full schedule of events to welcome them.

The Tercentennial celebrations were set against a backdrop of enormous industrial expansion. The airplane, automobile and electric light were all relatively recent innovations.

The celebrations involved a parade of vessels from the navies of the world, a demonstration flight from Wilbur Wright and an unprecedented display of electric lights decorating many of New York City’s landmarks.

In addition to all their celebrations of the Industrial Age, the 1909 events also served as a catalyst for scenic, natural and historic preservation with the establishment of the Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks. The Quadricentennial commemorations seek to build on this spirit of preservation and stewardship. In addition to the celebratory events, the State plans to inventory, map and analyze existing open space and parkland throughout the valley in order that it may be sufficiently protected and preserved for future generations. In Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow we will be celebrating the restoration of large-scale public access to the river with our portions of the Scenic Hudson Riverwalk Park and the renovation of the Kingsland Point Bathhouse.

In addition to these legacy projects, both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow will be holding celebratory events on June 6th. The Sleepy Hollow Community Arts Festival and Field Day, in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, will take place from 11:00am-4:00pm in Kingsland Point Park. The festival will feature arts and craft vendors, food vendors, and a performance from award winning children’s musician Zev Haber (noon). The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center will be presenting four published authors, including Hudson Talbot reading from his book “River of Dreams,” He will be joined by three other authors reading from their works in English and Spanish (1:00-2:00pm). The Junior League will be running a community poetry tent inviting people to compose poetry on the subject of the Hudson River and the winner of “Haiku on the Hudson,” a children’s poetry competition, will read their winning entry. Cousins Moran will be playing throughout the day and JP Doyle’s will be grilling.

OnTrack Sports and the Tarrytown AYSO will be running a free kids soccer clinic which will start at noon and is open to all. Join them for a game of musical cones, target practice or try the radar gun challenge! The first Tarrytown vs. Sleepy Hollow soccer challenge match will kick off at 3:00pm, and there will be a craft table running all day at which kids will be invited to decorate the shirts that the players will wear in the game. There will be field games (2:00-3:00pm), including football throw, balloon toss and tug-o-war, featuring some well-known faces from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

Later that same day the focus will shift to Tarrytown with the arrival of the River Day Flotilla (5:00-6:00pm subject to tide). The Clearwater and Mystic Whaler will be docked at the Tarrytown Boat club, the John J. Harvey Fireboat, Governor Cleveland Tug, Launch 5 and Riverkeeper’s teaching boat will be docked at the Hudson Harbor bulkhead. Both the Clearwater and Riverkeeper vessels will be welcoming visitors aboard to learn about their ecological work and the history of the Hudson River. Many other vessels will be docked offshore and visible from the waterfront.

At 6:00pm the party really gets underway with a performance from Zydegroove playing their brand of infectious Louisiana Zydeco, a rich musical gumbo derived from Creole, Cajun, French, Caribbean and Scotch/Irish residents of the port city of New Orleans. The Tarrytown Fire Department will be grilling, so bring a blanket and make a night of it. The evening will draw to a close with a waterfront fireworks display at dusk.

It will be a wonderful day and a great celebration of our two communities, past and present. Invite your friends, bring your neighbors and come out and celebrate "America’s First River"!

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About the Author: Fiona Galloway