Friday, August 24, 2018

Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla Festival Sunday

Prospect House on Blue Mountain LakeThe 2nd Blue Mountain Lake flotilla has been set for August 26, 2018.

136 years ago on Blue Mountain Lake, a steamboat glided through towing some 75 rowboats and their passengers. An orchestra played, a cannon roared salute, Gospel singers raised their voices, and shining Chinese lanterns hung from the boats, and floated on the waves.

Last summer, the Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla sailed again. It marked the first time the event took place since the original was held, on the same waters in August of 1882. And now the boats are returning again, highlighting a day of music, food and fun for the whole family.

Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla participantsThe day will begin at 2 pm with a blessing for the fleet at the Church of the Transfiguration — a house of prayer active since 1885. Hallie Bond, former education director and curator at the Adirondack Museum and author of the book, Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks, will also give a presentation putting the day into historic perspective.

At 3 pm there will be an historical tour at The Hedges, former Civil War General Hiram Duryea’s Camp, which participated in the original Flotilla event and which is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. At 4:15 pm the reception begins at Prospect Point Cottages, the site where the mighty Prospect House once stood. Waiters and actors in late 19th-century garb will welcome and serve the visitors. As guests enjoy a barbecue dinner, world renowned pianist, Nicole Wang and acclaimed composers and folk musicians, Karen Whitman and Rick Pantell,will perform classics and period pieces of American music.

At around 7 pm the flotilla — under the direction of the Blue Mountain Lake Boat Livery — will launch from Prospect Point Cove, the very spot where the original Flotilla embarked. True to history, the boats will be towed by an antique steamer which bears the name of the original craft that pulled the first Flotilla in 1882 — the Towahloondah. Musicians will perform on board, as the flotilla makes its way in a great procession around the east bay of the lake, stopping briefly before designated spots — Curry’s Cottages, the original “Steamboat Landing” (which now also houses Blue Mountain Lake Outfitters), and elsewhere to play music off shore. The towed vessels will themselves comprise a parade of historic non-motorized craft.

As darkness falls, Chinese lanterns will be lit on the flotilla, upon the lake and along the shore. Bonfires will blaze and a cannon will salute as the flotilla steams its way towards Prospect Point Cottages. After the boats return at around 8 pm, refreshments will be served, prizes will be given for the best 19th-century costumes, and fireworks will light up the skies over Prospect Cove.

Registration fee is $25 for teenagers and adults, $10 for children fours years old to twelve, $20 for those registering and paying in advance, and $10 for guests of Prospect Point Cottages. This includes food at the Hedges and Prospect Point and the concert. The Flotilla itself will be comprised of antique non-motorized boats or boats in antique style, at $15 per craft which cost includes the captain of the boat. All other passengers are $15 per person. Boat tickets also include all the shore activities. More modern non-motorized craft is welcome, but all vintage craft will be towed at the front of the line.

For further information call David Oestreicher at Prospect Point Cottages (518) 352 7378, or visit the Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce website.

Illustration of Prospect House on Blue Mountain Lake.

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