PLATTSBURGH — Lake Champlain will be alight tonight with skippers’ imaginations gone electric on their watercraft for the 6th-annual Boat Parade of Lights & Competition.
Take a chair or blanket to the Boat Basin, and watch the vessels float by at 9 p.m.
The 2012 Mayor’s Cup Festival & Regatta’s parade promises a new twist with the entry of businesses and organizations in their own category.
The Boat Parade was the idea of Dr. Jerome “Jake” DeSnyder, who observed similar events around the country.
“It brings motorized boats into the event,” DeSnyder said. “It’s a natural thing to grow our festival. This year is bigger than ever. The thing I like the best about it, it brings a lot of people down to the waterfront to watch the event. It’s rewarding to get the community involved in the Mayor’s Cup.”
Before dusk falls, landlubbers can catch the Jack Grace Band at the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts’ “Jumpin’ in July” concert series on the center’s front lawn. From 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, the Glengarry Bhoys perform at the Lions Club Bandshell in City Hall Place.
The Mayor’s Cup Regatta gets under way Saturday morning. Dr. Kjell Dahlen, Gail Recore and DeSnyder are the tri-chairs of the event. The regatta and festival are presented by the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary and the City of Plattsburgh.
“This is the regatta’s 35th year,” DeSnyder said. “This is the 25th year the Sunrise Rotary has done the regatta. We’ve always been proud of it. It’s an event that brings competitors from two countries and three different states. It’s the largest sailboat event on Lake Champlain. It’s been the centerpiece of the summer festival for the whole 35 years. It brings a lot of competition on the water and brings an event to the city and community.”
While boats tack and spinnaker around the lake, landlubbers can avail themselves of family and kid-oriented activities at the NCCCA or Behavorial Health Services North on City Hall’s lawn. Grandparents can regale their grandchildren of their glory days as they meander between Champlain Classic Car Cruisers parked along City Hall Place.
A new addition this year is “Women of the Waterfront.”
“At the Kent-Delord House, we were trying to think of a new and different fundraiser,” said Patricia Loughan, organizer.
“One of our members modeled it after one in Little Falls, N.Y., called ‘Chicks along the Canal.’ It’s to celebrate women in business. We’ve got 18 people. Some are home businesses. Some are women-run businesses like the Fashion Exchange. Some are crafters. Several people make jewelry. One makes repurposed vintage jewelry. One does photography and fabric arts. It’s a variety of things.”
Items for sale include Tupperware; Scentsy home fragrances; and Thirty-one, a bag and tote outfit. WOW includes nonprofits managed by women.
“We have representatives giving information from the League of Women Voters, the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), Clinton County Historical Association, War of 1812 Museum, Depot Theatre and Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society,” Loughan said.
The Sweet Adelines will perform throughout Saturday.
At 10:30 a.m., Carol Gallagher and Linda Richardson, flute and recorder duet, perform. The Adirondack Dance Company and Liturgical Dance Group take the stage next, followed by the ALEE String Quartet, Meter Maids, Champlain Valley Chorus and pianist Helen Schmidt.
At noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., Shirley Demming will give spinning demonstrations.
“We’re going to have museum tours also,” Loughan said. “We’re focusing on the bicentennial of the War of 1812 where Henry Delord played a vital role and the sesquicentennial of the Civil War where Frank Hall won his Medal of Honor. We’re also having the Imaginarium Children’s Museum offering children’s activities and a food vendor. It’s like a great big old-time fair. Something for everyone, and hopefully everyone comes down to join us. We will have raffles through the day. That’s our fundraiser part of it for the museum.”
The Naked Turtle is the place to be at 4 p.m. Saturday for the Mayor’s Cup BBQ & Awards Ceremony. Attendees will not only learn the rankings of the captains and their crews but also the winners of the Boat Parade. The fun continues to roll with the Lumber Jills versus the Oz Roller Girls at City Gym and Recreation Center.
The Kyack Shack at Baggs Landing offers a Mayor’s Cup Sunset Tour from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
MUSIC AND FIREWORKS
Those who want to stay downtown can catch Rick Davies and the Bearcat Ramblers at the Lions Club Bandshell. Davies (trombone) leads bandmates — Jeff Rendinaro (vocals and guitar), Herm Matlock (horns), Wayne Davidson (sax), Mike Lewandowski (drums) and Chris Dalnador (bass).
“It’s Dixieland stuff,” said Davies, who is a professor of music at Plattsburgh State. “I had this old band back in the ‘70s, Dixieland Bearcats. The Bearcat Ramblers, we can play Dixieland, all New Orleans-style jazz. It’s a good style to match with the Gibson Brothers. We’re opening for the Gibson Bothers.”
The Gibson Brothers take the bandshell stage for a two-hour set, 8 to 10 p.m. Before the set ends, fireworks will once again ignite the night sky downtown.
On Sunday morning, the fun fest resumes with the CVPH Mayor’s Cup Bike Ride and concludes with the 2nd-annual Amazing Grace Vineyard Arts Festival.
“I’m tremendously excited about the entertainment we have this year,” DeSnyder said. “The Glengarry Bhoys have a great local following, and the Gibson Brothers are a national-quality group.”
ON THE WEB
For details and a complete listing of events, visit www.mayorscup.com.
Email Robin Caudell:firstname.lastname@example.org