(CATSKILL, New York) - To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the river that now bears his name, Greene County is staging a series of special events throughout the county this summer and fall. Events range from public art exhibitions and original theatrical productions to a treasure hunt and "wacky" raft race. "When Henry Hudson sailed from the New York Harbor to present-day Albany aboard the Half Moon in 1609, he discovered in Greene County a landscape so beautiful that it later inspired a school of art," said Daniela Marino of Greene County Tourism. "Breathtaking scenic beauty still draws visitors from around the world to Greene County and we're pulling out all the stops this year to celebrate New York State's Quadricentennial with events that highlight our rich heritage, arts and culture." Among the Quadricentennial events planned in Greene County are: May 2 - Oct 31 River Views of the Hudson River School Exhibition and Guided Hikes The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill (pictured) will sponsor a special exhibition that explores the subject of the Hudson River in the landscape paintings by major figures of the Hudson River School, including Thomas Cole, Sanford Gifford, and Jasper Cropsey. To enhance the connection between the paintings and the surrounding landscapes, a series of guided hikes will be offered to the scenes in the paintings, including to Kaaterskill Falls. For more information, call 518-943-7465 or visit http://www.thomascole.org/. Weekend of May 15 "River of Dreams" The Greene Arts Foundation will present a multimedia theatrical production inspired by Hudson Talbott's children's book, "River of Dreams," which tells the story of the Hudson River from its geological beginnings to its present importance. Eight workshops involving youths from Greene County high schools and led by a professional director and choreographer will culminate in several performances at Catskill High School. For more information, call 518-731-7715 or visit http://www.greeneartsfoundation.org/. Memorial Day - Labor Day Cat' n Around Catskill 2009: A Quadricentennial Celebration Catskill will celebrate the Hudson River Valley with more than 60 cats decorated by local artisans to reflect the culture, art, history, agriculture, industry and landscapes of the area. Stroll down Main Street in this 19th century riverfront village and choose the cat you would bid on as a piece of art and a memento of the Quadricentennial Celebration. For more information, call 518-943-0989 or visit http://www.cat-n-around.com/. Memorial Day - October Bears and Butterflies Statues of fiberglass bears, each individually painted by local artists with scenes relevant to Henry Hudson's life and legacy, will be placed along Main Street in Cairo and surrounding hamlets. The summer-long celebration will include an "Explore with Henry Hudson" treasure map, a prize drawing and coupons from local businesses. For more information call 518-622-3939 or visit http://www.cairochamberofcommerce.com/. June 6 Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Sunset Benefit & Lighting The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse will be illuminated for the 2009 Quadricentennial year. In honor of Flag Day, the first illumination will be in red, white and blue. On September 1, the colors will change to honor Greene County's Dutch heritage. The official NYS Quadricentennial coin will be for sale. For information call 518-828-5294 or visit http://www.hudsonathenslighthouse.org/. June 11 Hudson Commemorative Relay Flotilla Book your place now at the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse to view the parade of the Half Moon, Clearwater and Onrust as they enter the Catskill, Athens and Hudson waterfronts for an overnight stay before proceeding north to Albany. Food, souvenirs and the official NYS Quadricentennial coin will be for sale. For more information, visit http://www.exploreny400.com/. June 14 Henry Hudson and the Half Moon The Bronck Museum in Coxsackie with host a performance of Dutch music tracing the 1609 voyage of the Henry Hudson aboard the Half Moon by Dutch folk musicians led by Nanne Kalma and Ankie van der Meer. The performance starts at 1:30 pm. For more information, call 518-731-6490 or visit http://www.gchistory.org/. June 26-28 and July 3, 5, 10-12 and 17-19 Classics @ the Point Presents "Thomas" An original play/collage by Joseph Capone about Thomas Cole's life in the Village of Catskill will be presented at Historic Catskill Point on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. $20/$15 seniors. For more information, call 518-943-2680. July - October 2009 A Celebration of Everything Dutch The Greene County Historical Society will sponsor an October 18 cooking demonstrations by Dutch food expert Pieter Rose ; the construction of a Mahican "village" at Historic Catskill Point; lectures on the Dutch Family (July 12), the Dutch Farm (September 13) and the Dutch Religion (TBD); an August 5 "Silvery Moon" nighttime event with storytellers and music; and the publication of "Historic Places in Greene County," a book celebrating the county's heritage starting with the first Dutch settlers. For more information, call 518-731-6490 or visit http://www.gchistory.org/ August 1 - September 19 The Wednesday Group - Hudson River Celebration A dozen tapestry designer-weavers will celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic sail with a collaborative exhibition of tapestries relating to the history and natural features of the Hudson River at the Greene County Council on the Arts at 398 Main Street in Catskill. For more information, call 518-943-3400 or visit http://www.greenearts.com/. August 16 Rip Van Winkle's Wacky Raft Race Now in its 5th year, Rip Van Winkle's Wacky Raft Race features a flotilla of homemade raft self-propelled with poles, oars, paddlewheels, sails or other non-motorized devices racing down a six-mile stretch of the Hudson River. Sail into history by entering your own wacky raft or just come to celebrate the Quadricentennial and cheer on your favorite competitors. Start time is 11:00 am at the Riverfront Park in Athens. The finish line will be at Dutchmen's Landing at the end of Main Street in Catskill, where there will be awards, food, vendors and live entertainment. For more information, call 800-355-2287 or visit http://www.greenetourism.com/ . September 20 Greene County "Wall of History" at Historic Catskill Point The Greene County Council on the Arts will transform one of the buildings at Historic Catskill Point into a "Wall of History." Greene County artists will be commissioned to paint great moments in Greene County's history on the Hudson River. Columbus Day Weekend Bounty along the Hudson This Quadricentennial festival and exposition at the Historic Catskill Point will celebrate 400 years of food, agriculture and nature in Greene County. Organized by the Agroforestry Resource Center of Cornell Cooperative Extension, the event will include food and wine tastings, educational speakers, entertainment, and vendors representing the bounty of Greene County's farms, forests and artisans. Other vendors will showcase herbal remedies, organic foods and products, exhibits on aquatic life on the Hudson River, cooking demonstrations, and use of solar energy and conservation. For more information, call 518-622-9820. For more information on these events, as well as lodging, dining and other attractions in Greene County, call 800-355-2287 or visit http://www.greenetourism.com/.
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