Idyll OaksClayton, New York (June 19, 2020) – With COVID-19 preventing normal operations, the Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater boating museum based in Clayton, NY, will celebrate its Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction by paying tribute to the modest beginnings of the now world-famous event.

Through reimaging the 56th Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction during COVID-19 by finding inspiration from the Show’s earliest years, ABM’s Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction remains the oldest continuously running Boat Show in the nation.

Antique and classic boats in the region, and those able to come from outside the North Country, are invited to join us on a parade around the Islands Saturday, August 1st at 8am and 5pm. We invite anyone participating to make their outing a day in Clayton by visiting our local restaurants and shops between cruises. At this time, the route(s) will include US waters and boaters only due to the closure of the Canadian-US border. If possible at the time the event is held, the cruise will be opened to Canadian boaters and waters. The route and best viewing times/spots to see the flotilla will be announced two weeks before the cruise so anyone wishing to watch can make plans. A limited number of slips will be available for participating boats to dock at ABM on August 1st.

In addition to the boats on parade, boat and engine owners from near and far are invited to put their boat in our virtual Boat Show which will include a virtual Marketplace with vendors to visit and shop, and a virtual Auction in a first for the Museum. If you have a story you would like to share about boating, your or another boat, boatbuilder, boat restorer, etc, please share it with us at Stories will be included in the virtual Show or future printed materials. As an added element to celebrate boats and the Clayton community, admission to the Museum will be FREE August 1st-2nd.

We look forward to a bigger and better 57th Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction celebrating “Boats in the 1000 Islands”, our ACBS Guest Chapter the Manotick Classic Boat Club, and crowning the Best on the River and Queen of the River August 6-8, 2021.

Additional Schedule Updates:

· The 1000 Islands Concours d’Elegance originally scheduled for June 27, 2020 is postponed to June 26, 2021. ABM looks forward to celebrating Sunbeams and Triumphs alongside

other antique and classic cars next year.

· The Festival of Oar, Paddle & Sail originally scheduled for July 3, 2020 is cancelled.

· The Watch Island Party originally scheduled for August 8, 2020 is rescheduled for a date in 2021 to be announced.

· Originally scheduled for August 14-15, 2020, Need for Speed has been postponed to 2022. We were excited about our plans for this event and are looking forward to expanding them and making Need for Speed a fantastic celebration of racing in 2022. By postponing until 2022, this keeps Need for Speed in alternate years from the Rideau Ferry Raceboat Regatta allowing participants to attend both.

· 1000 Islands Family Day originally postponed to September 13, 2020 is now rescheduled for 2021. We encourage everyone have some family fun boat watching or boating as part of the reimagined Boat Show on Saturday, August 1st.

In addition to changes to ABM’s special events schedule, education programming will look different for the 2020 season. No on-campus classes, workshops or lectures will be held until Monday, July 27. River Rat Camps will not be held in 2020 and the USCG Auxiliary has shifted all classes online.

As a reminder, all registrants have three options in the event we are forced to cancel any of our currently scheduled programming: a full refund of class fees, credit towards registration in 2021 or to donate their payment to support ABM through these unprecedented times.

Upon opening June 27th for the season, ABM will be open six (6) days a week from 9 am to 5 pm, and closed every Wednesday through Columbus Day.

While fully respecting state orders and with an important emphasis on health and well-being, the ABM also recognizes the limited opportunities for a seasonal resort community and is working within the unusual circumstances the pandemic has defined. All scheduling changes have been made based on Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward reopening plan and guidelines from the CDC and government officials.


Photo: The 1924 Hutchinson Idyll Oaks led the parade at the first Antique Boat Show in 1965 (photo courtesy of ABM’s Marion Clayton Link Archives)

About ABM

Located on the St. Lawrence River in Upstate NY, ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts. Each summer the waterfront campus comes alive with numerous educational programs and special events, including the longest running antique boat show in North America. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at

Contact: Caitlin Playle, Events and Communications Coordinator

315.686.4104 x236