Thursday, May 2, 2024

8th Pete Seeger Tribute set for May 4 in Saranac Lake

Musician Pete Seeger

Saranac Lake, NY – Pete Seeger’s banjo is inscribed with the words, “This banjo surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” On May 4 people will gather again at the First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake’s Great Hall to celebrate Pete’s life work by sharing his music together. Over 50 years ago, Pete and his wife, Toshi, spearheaded an effort to build the Hudson River sloop Clearwater. They hoped if people had intimate knowledge of the pollution on the Hudson and could feel the wind and the water, they would be inspired to solve significant problems one song at a time. The Clearwater project’s efforts helped to pass the Clean Water Act in 1972. 

The act’s preamble declared that our nation’s waters would be swimmable and fishable within a decade, with no discharges of pollutants within a dozen years, but our public waters remain under threat. The Clearwater continues to be a leader in ensuring clean water for all people.

Pete stated, “I guess I’ve learned more from the Clearwater than anything else. All I did was help plant a seed.”

On May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Saranac Lake Presbyterian Church Great Hall, local performers are freely offering their energy to celebrate Pete Seeger’s life and to help continue to clean the water and the Earth. All are welcome to come celebrate Pete’s life work for the environment in song.

Travis Jeffery, a former captain of the Clearwater and friend of the Seeger’s, will perform and share stories. He will be joined by Curt Stager and Kary Johnson, Keith and Sarah Gorgas, Duane Gould, Lisa and Klaus Meissner of the Rustic Riders, Tom Techman and Slo’ Jam, and Poet Yvonna Fast, among others.

Free refreshments will be provided by the bakers of the Presbyterian Church. Admission to the event is free, however donations for the Clearwater will be accepted. Learn more about the Clearwater and its mission at

The First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake is a Certified Earth Care Congregation. To obtain and retain this certification, it not only continually upgrades its facility to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, but also actively works to help its members and the community care for God’s creation. 

Photo at top: Pete Seeger. Photo provided by Lisa Meissner, Rustic Riders.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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