It is the one of the largest annual festivals in the North Country and the largest sailing race on Lake Champlain. Officials met Monday to announce preliminary plans for this summer’s Mayor’s Cup events in Plattsburgh.
The 38th annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta and Festival will be held July 9th through the 12th.
Events in downtown Plattsburgh and on the lake feature a boat parade and sailboat regatta.
Sunrise Rotary has coordinated the sailing events for 23 years. When the economy fell into recession festival funding diminished. So, according to Sunrise Rotary Mayor’s Cup Committee Co-Chair Jake DeSnyder, partnerships were formed with the city and various organizations to streamline events. “What’s changing is that we are focusing our attention even more on the water events and the city with the new events coordinator is beginning to really take control of the city events. Manpower-wise that was always our goal. We wanted as Sunrise Rotary to get somebody in here who would run their own show. Council on the Arts does their own show. Joanne and SUNY do their own show. And yet they’re with us.”
While the Sunrise Rotary coordinates water activities, the city deals with events on land. This year plans include a movie night, soccer challenge, fun run, fireworks and concerts headlined by the Grammy-nominated Gibson Brothers.
Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon calls the Mayor’s Cup one of the city’s signature events and it has been important to partner with numerous groups to revitalize it. “ This has been a long-standing partnership between the city and Sunrise Rotary. We’re committed to maintaining that partnership. We really think that our creation of the Events Coordinator position is critical to really take things to the next level. We think over time the model that has been represented here is going to spread to other weekends and other events throughout the year. So it’s a great partnership between a service club and the city and we’re really, really proud of how all that works.”
At one time, according to DeSnyder, the sailing regatta attracted more than 100 racing boats. But there are now far fewer participants. “ The sailboat racing component on this lake is a lot smaller than in years past. The first five to ten years of the Mayor’s Cup Regatta it was a usual thing to get over a hundred boats, a hundred to a hundred and twenty boats. That’s because there was a very heavy and very large racing contingent all around the shores of Lake Champlain. There’s a lot more pleasure sailors on this lake now than there are racing sailors. A lot of those folks aren’t interested in racing. The fact of the matter is that there’s a lot of different kind of sailors on the lake now.”