Local News

May 9, 2014

Big battle bicentennial

PLATTSBURGH — Officials are confident that the much-anticipated bicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh will not disappoint.

“This is a big event for the entire region,” City of Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon said.

“I am really excited about how much this celebration has grown over the years, and I can’t wait to see how many people come this year.”


Calnon was joined Thursday by Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Committee Co-Chairs Christopher “Kit” Booth and Gary VanCour at a news conference unveiling the big plans for this year’s 200th-anniversary celebration of the pivotal battle.

To mark the grand event, 17 days of activities will take place from late August to the second week of September at locations throughout the county.

The annual commemoration budget of about $80,000 will more than double to about $170,000.

“We get people from all over the Northeast to come to this, and normally we get about 15,000 people, but this year we are hoping for at least 20,000 or 25,000,” Booth said.


The celebration begins with a concert on Aug. 29 and ends with events throughout the day on Sept. 14.

Booth and VanCour said the usual activities — re-enactments, a parade, concerts and ceremonies honoring those who fought and perished in the battle — will be accompanied by new events for the bicentennial.

One of the potentially exciting new events will be a re-enactment of the naval battle that occurred on Lake Champlain, where the outgunned Americans pulled off a stunning victory under the command of Commodore Thomas Macdonough.

Re-enactment co-Chairman Craig Russell said that at least one tall ship will be available for the lake battle, as well as several other smaller ships.

They will try to duplicate the moment when Macdonough’s ship, The Saratoga, was able to turn so it could blast the British flagship Confiance and take it out of commission, thus winning the engagement.

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