Plattsburgh Officials Outline Summer Events
With the end of the pandemic a number of communities are restoring summer festivities. In Plattsburgh a number of events are planned throughout the summer with several occurring during a 10-day period starting Thursday.
Officials from the city of Plattsburgh and community organizations met at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to describe new and returning events planned for the summer.
Strand Center for the Arts Board President Tom McNichols said they are excited to be coming out of the pandemic and outlined a series of events.
“We also have a lot of new initiatives going on," McNichols said. "Our DRI work is finishing up. Right after the 4th of July the MakerSpace will launch softly. Later this summer it will be fully operational for the public. And coming in short order we will announce starting in the fall the full theatre calendar. So we look forward to helping everybody out in the community, having you engaged.”
The city hopes to promote its art and culture throughout summer. The Fourth of July Parade returns with an interstellar theme that coordinates with a new mural that has been painted on a downtown building. It honors astronaut Michael Anderson. Born in Plattsburgh, he also served at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base before being selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. He was among the crew killed when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up during reentry in February 2003. Community Engagement Coordinator Courtney Meisenheimer says the mural will be dedicated before the parade.
“The family of Michael Anderson will be traveling from their homes in Arizona and Texas to join us for the weekend," Meisenheimer explained. "They’re going to be serving as the Grand Marshals in our parade.”
The North Country Chamber’s Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau Vice President for Marketing Kristy Kennedy noted that five bass fishing tournaments will be held over the summer and the East Coast Watercross will bring its national jet skiing championships to the Plattsburgh City Beach.
"The thing to remember with all these is it’s a great influx of people into our area," Kennedy said. "It brings a great economic impact and boost to the area especially this year when we all know the Canadian border is closed so we are missing our neighbors to the north. But this is a great way to show off our lake, show off our restaurants, show off our community and this destination. So you can come and see these anglers, meet them and say hi, talk to them about their sport and what they do.”
Mayor Chris Rosenquest noted that planning for these events started in January before COVID restrictions eased and they had to consider that no Canadians would be able to attend.
"In terms of having these events hands down like we need to be out," Rosenquest said. "As well as you know as we’ve seen with sales tax numbers and shopping local it’s crucial to provide these opportunities, aside from the border being closed, but providing these opportunities for locals and regional folks to come and visit. We certainly have still seen people come in from out of the state, maybe not from the north but certainly from everywhere else to come and visit us in Plattsburgh and we want to keep providing that as an opportunity.”
On July 10th the Mayor’s Cup Regatta and Festival features the largest sailboat race on Lake Champlain. A Community Bike Ride is also planned this summer to get feedback on the recently completed Bike Friendly Plattsburgh report that proposes expanded bike infrastructure throughout the city.