What happens when you gather folks from New York and Vermont, and you seat them around a big table at the Crown Point Visitor Center next to windows overlooking the Crown Point Bridge and the waters of Lake Champlain? After some soul-searching, idea sharing, conversation, and a long silence a new event is named: Bridging Champlain, a NY-VT Celebration.
Both the concept and the name originated with Matt Courtwrite, Executive Director of the Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce. Matt requested collaboration on a two-week event that would focus attention on – and draw visitors to – the south-central part of Lake Champlain.
Bridging Champlain will encompass both sides of the lake from the Essex-Charlotte Ferry to the Ticonderoga-Shoreham Cable Ferry and will take place from August 1 to August 17, 2014. Activities and attractions will be showcased on the calendars of Essex, Westport, Moriah, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga in New York as well as Orwell, Shoreham, Bridport, Addison, Panton-Basin Harbor, Ferrisburgh, and Charlotte in Vermont. Cooperatively promoting the events emphasizes the Lake Champlain Region as an exceptionally impressive destination!
Bridging Champlain Arts, History, Hiking & More
The Lake Champlain Region includes America’s early forts, including Ticonderoga and the Crown Point Historic site. Both helped define the nation we would become. In Vermont, the Chimney Point Historic site and Mount Independence give insight to the beginnings of the Champlain Valley. All will feature special activities including a French and Indian War Encampment. More activities about the early days of Lake Champlain and current nautical events can be found at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Learn about early waterworks and pencil-making history (Did you know that graphite was mined here?) at the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum.
If you enjoy music, you can attend a variety of concerts at the Essex Community Church and the Ballard Park Pavilion in Westport including a youth choir, organ, string, and folk performances. And if you appreciate live theatre, you can attend the Depot Theatre, Essex Community Theatre, and Bouquet River Theatre Festival, a summer tradition that usually involves about 30 local children.
For the athletic, outdoorsy oriented of us the Champlain Area Trails network will allow you to walk from one town to another. Or you can take a shorter one to three-hour hike into the wilderness. Crown Point will be hosting a Relay for Life run.
If you prefer relaxing in the park, watching sail boats drift across the bay then you won’t want to miss the Westport Challenge Regatta. Sailboat races take place mid-day during Westport Heritage Day, another summer tradition featuring entertainment, crafts, and food in Ballard Park.
Discover more history and the conclusion of the Spirit of Place Art Exhibit and Silent Auction in the Westport Heritage House. The exhibit features artists who are inspired by living and working in the Champlain Valley showing wide diversity, the artworks include paintings, weavings, photographs, sculpture, pottery, collage, and more.
August County Fair & Car Show
Champlain Valley’s crops and farm animals are on display at the Essex County Fair, as well as grandstand entertainment, mid-way rides, and games. The Fair concludes with the crowd-pleaser demolition derby. If beat up cars are your idea of automotive pleasure, then try the 22nd Annual Ticonderoga Car Show at the beginning of the month.
This is just a sample of what to look forward to this August! Stay tuned as the plans for Bridging Champlain continue to develop!
- Vintage Postcard: Essex, NY from Lake Champlain (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Lake Champlain Freezing Over (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Thank You, Essex Blog Readers, Writers and Boosters (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Defining the Champlain Valley (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- Lake Champlain Frozen, Flashback to March 2005 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)