In 2009, New York State will commemorate three internationally significant events in its history - the 400th anniversaries of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain's voyages along the New York waterways bearing their name and the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton's launch of ‘The Clermont' inaugurating steam power along the Hudson River and, around the world. During a year filled with celebratory events, the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission has partnered with Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to inaugurate the state's first ever New York Heritage Weekend, September 12 and 13. Visitors will be welcomed free, or at a reduced rate, to many museums, historical societies, and heritage areas; to architecturally significant buildings; and to battlefields, parks and historic districts throughout the Hudson and Champlain Valleys. In addition, tours, special events, concerts, reenactments and dances will highlight this state-wide celebration of New York's unique cultural heritage. Modeled after France's popular annual event, "Les Journees du Patrimoine," New York Heritage Weekend will showcase the Empire State to residents and visitors during fall foliage season. With the cooperation of federal, state, and private organizations, New York Heritage Weekend is slated to become an annual event and one of the lasting legacies of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration. To underscore the importance of heritage tourism to New York State's economy, Assemblyman Steven Englebright and Senator Jose Serrano have introduced a resolution in the New York State officially proclaiming September 12 and 13, 2009 New York Heritage Weekend. "We are fortunate as citizens of New York to live in a state that has some of our nation's greatest heritage assets," said Assemblyman Englebright. "As we celebrate these institutions of optimism throughout our Quadricentennial year, it seems imperative to acknowledge our shared heritage as New Yorkers. I congratulate Governor Paterson in proclaiming September 12-13 as Heritage Weekend and the second week of September as Heritage Week for our current and future generations." New York Heritage Weekend will be held during the 10th Annual Hudson River Valley Ramble. In celebration of the Quadricentennial, the Ramble will be held over all four weekends of September. Over 200 partner organizations are involved in the Ramble each year and it is sponsored by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Hudson River Valley Greenway and NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program. While New York Heritage Weekend is designed to enhance the state's tourism economy it is also an opportunity for residents to discover - or rediscover - many historic, architectural and natural treasures in their own communities. This was reinforced by Quadricentennial Commission Chair Joan K. Davidson who commented, "New York Heritage Weekend is a chance for New Yorkers -- and visitors from all over the Northeast -- to tour interesting houses of all periods and styles, some open for this weekend only! And, while we're at it, we can sample a wide array of special events, see beautiful landscapes, hike a trail or put a kayak in the river. I think we'll find that, oftentimes--and especially this year--the most rewarding vacations are weekends spent not far from home!"
-30-FOR MORE INFORMATION: Alexia Lalli firstname.lastname@example.org (917) 679 0584 http://www.exploreny400.com/ http://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/