The Hudson River Maritime Museum’s annual Hudson River Day will be held on Saturday, July 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Museum’s waterfront docks at the Kingston Home Port and Education Center at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston.
The free, family-friendly festival grew out of the success and enthusiasm created by the 2009 Hudson/Fulton/Champlain Quadricentennial and fills the void that was left when a moratorium was placed on fishing shad and hosting shad festivals. The purpose of the event is to celebrate this history and legacy, as well as the ongoing stewardship of the river.
Various historical industries will be represented, including bluestone and agriculture, with traditional and innovative approaches to farming and food production. Transition Kingston’s Gai Galitzine has provided the festival with over a dozen regional “agri-entrepreneurs” who will display their products and discuss their methods. Riverkeeper and Clearwater’s representatives and educators will be present to discuss river ecology, education and advocacy. Among the recreational and competitive sports, rowing and kayaking will be demonstrated. Other maritime-related vendors will be present as well.
Visiting vessels include the museum’s 1898 steam tugboat Mathilda, who proudly reigns over the courtyard and now has a public viewing port to observe her historic steam engine. The towboat Alida’s restored cabin house installed near Mathilda’s propeller is a recent donation. Other vessels available for viewing will be the sailboat Osprey, the tugboat Pilot and the perriauger Mercury. A festival favorite, the authentic small steamboat Mary Theodora, will offer brief rides on the Rondout Creek on a limited, ticketed, first-come/first-served basis.
Children’s interactive activities will include a mini-boatbuilding workshop, followed by a “floatability test” in the Home Port Pool, and designing a mural with faux bricks. Live music will be provided in the blue Gazebo by Payne’s Grey Sky and Ben Rounds.