By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — This year’s Mayor’s Cup Regatta and Festival will once again feature a boatload of events and activities.
“This is supposed to be a family fun event and free as much as possible, and that is what we are trying to do,” organizer Jake DeSnyder said at a City Hall news conference Wednesday to present the agenda for what will be the 36th Mayor’s Cup event.
The Mayor’s Cup will be held July 11 to 14, with events mostly in downtown Plattsburgh and on Lake Champlain.
In addition to the sailboat race, the celebration will include entertainment, children’s activities, vendors, road races and even a tree house.
The increasingly popular Parade of Lights will kick off the event at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11, from Wilcox Dock.
Boats, kayaks and just about any craft that is seaworthy can be decorated with lights, music and an assortment of accouterments for the short glide to Plattsburgh Boat Basin, where they will be judged under the summer moon.
DeSynder said they hope to attract as many as 50 vessels for this year’s boat parade.
“This is a fun event, and it is something the public can view,” he said.
On Friday, July 12, Mayor’s Cup Idol returns after a seven-year hiatus.
Semi-finals for the singing competition will be held in Trinity Park from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Auditions will take place in the park on July 4, with radio station Eagle Country 97.5 hosting.
“People enjoy it, and they all bring their family and friends, and it’s a nice event,” said Aaron Tourville of Eagle Country.
To apply for an audition, would-be singers can go to eaglecountry975.com.
Trinity Park, City Hall and the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts will be filled with activities and vendors all day on Saturday, July 13.
The ARC will host a kids/family zone in the Lower Court Street parking lot from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Behavioral Health Services North will hold a Kids Carnivale for 2-to-6-year-olds on the City Hall lawn.
Mayor Donald Kasprzak expects big crowds once again.
“In the past, we’ve had as many as 3,000 to 5,000 people downtown, and we certainly hope we get that again,” he said.
For musical entertainment this year, Enter the Haggis, described as a Canadian/Indie folk rock world-fusion band, will play at the Lions Club Bandshell at the Macdonough Monument at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12.
On Saturday, July 13, Gas House Gorillas, a “Punk Americana”-style band, will perform from 8 to 9 p.m. and again from 9:45 to 11 p.m.
“They really are a lot of fun,” Kasprzak said.
At intermission of the Gas House show, the annual fireworks display will light up the downtown sky near the mouth of the Saranac River.
The Zucchini Brothers, a local band, will perform a kids show in Trinity Park from 4 to 5 p.m. that Saturday, and master hypnotist Michael Blaine will mesmerize people from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Lions Club Bandshell.
The flagship event, the Mayor’s Cup Regatta, will take off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, in Plattsburgh Bay.
“We expect to get between 60 and 90 vessels, and what’s fun about this race is that while it does draw a lot of hard-core racers, it is also able to draw the more casual racers because it is such a fun event,” DeSnyder said.
The Sunrise Rotary Club is again taking on the role of main organizer of the Mayor’s Cup, with numerous local businesses and organizations serving as sponsors.
Kevin Kehoe, who is organizing the sponsorship drive, said they hope to raise about $50,000 to cover costs of the four-day event.
T-shirts will also be sold again, with the proceeds going toward construction of a disabled-accessible tree house that Sunrise Rotary is sponsoring, to be built on the Saranac River near the City Police Station.
“This is not just any tree house,” organizer Ashley Cousens said. “It will have ramps for walkers and things like that, and it will be very scenic on the river.”
DeSyder said the Mayor’s Cup celebration has remained popular for nearly four decades because it has something for everyone.
“We do this because it is a great community event, and we all feel good as a club to be part of it,” he said.
“We bring people together on the lake and on land, and it is a very unifying event.”
Email Joe LoTemplio:firstname.lastname@example.org
TO LEARN MORE
For a complete list of events and more information go to MayorsCup.com.