Plattsburgh officials have announced details of the 40th annual Mayor’s Cup festival and regatta.
The Mayor’s Cup regatta began in 1978 and is now the largest sailing race on Lake Champlain. A multi-day festival has grown in the downtown area in the ensuing years. The Parade of Lights, a nighttime flotilla of decorated watercraft, now officially launches the festival. Parade coordinator Rich Jarrette says it’s a parade and a competition that draws floating objects from large boats to standup paddleboarders and kayakers. “Imagine a group of interested folks making their way down to the water’s edge to enjoy the lit up parade of boats coming across the water. There’s music in the background. There’s excitement onboard the boats. It’s going to be an exciting time. We expect about 50 participants. If you’re interested in becoming a participant yourself, if it’s a legal flotation device I’m happy to have you. The more the merrier. It’s how we celebrate our city and the lake.”
Plattsburgh’s center city area has become a hub for what’s referred to as landlubber activities, with events like outdoor concerts, yoga, farmers markets, and theatre; bike rides, a fire truck pull, disc golf and fireworks. After being presented with an official Mayor’s Cup t-shirt, Mayor Colin Read praised the diversity of events and organizations involved. “Festivities are actually beginning as early as July 1 for this to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on that Saturday and is going to continue right on through the 9th and through the culmination with the official Mayor’s Cup regatta. I really encourage everybody to come down because this is really one of the first and best examples of a true private-public partnership. It’s going to be just so much fun. And it’s going to really hearken back to Mayor’s Cup of years past.
The Adirondack Regional Theatre sponsors a Young Directors series that allows teens to work with their peers on a production. Theatre director Tom Lavin is enthusiastic that the Mayor’s Cup will feature the youth-produced and acted Alice in Wonderland Junior. “The entire cast and directorial staff are age 6 to 19. We have two directors. One’s a high school junior. One’s a high school senior. We have a choreographer who has just started college. And then we have a cast, an incredible cast of 40 kids, again from 6 to 18, that do just an incredible job. So all 40 of those are going to be on that stage down at the bottom of the hill. And it’s Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Junior. It’s a fun show. It’s what you remember. You know figuring out the rabbit hole is always interesting and we want you all to sing along with Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah when that comes up.”
The highlight of the festival is its namesake Mayor’s Cup sailing race sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary. Races will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday July 8th. Race Director Kjell Dahlen explained there are three divisions – Cruising, Racing, and Multihull. He notes that the race is the largest in the Lake Champlain Championship Series. “The sailing clubs Mallets Bay Boat Club, Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne and also the Royal Savage Yacht Club in Charlotte and sailing club in Plattsburgh are competing to figure out who is the top boat in Lake Champlain. And the Mayor’s Cup is quite important. First of all the Mayor’s Cup actually is one of the older races in this series and also the race that has the most participants.”