Pumpkin Sail Returns

The Clearwater Sloop Pumpkin Sail returns revamped after 10 years with a series of festivals.
The Clearwater Sloop Pumpkin Sail returns revamped after 10 years with a series of festivals.

Clearwater has brought back a series of festivals and events to go along with the Clearwater Sloop Pumpkin sail for every weekend in October.

“This is the first pumpkin sail in 10 years but it’s an abridged version,” said Outreach Educator Linda Richards. “We’re taking baby steps.”

The Pumpkin Sail events were already held at three local docks: Poughkeepsie, Rensselaer and Hudson. Upcoming events will be held at Kingston on Oct.15, Beacon on Oct. 16 and West Harlem Piers Park in New York City on Oct. 22.

According to Richards, the festivals feature food, pumpkin painting, music, live river specimen, an educational information on Clearwater’s projects and local vendors. She said the Hudson dock will have 11 different vendors and that having vendors from each community is a great opportunity because it allows for more profit for the farmers and entrepreneurs. Richards also believes that vendors are also useful because they pass on information about the Pumpkin sail and help bring traffic to the event.

At each dock, attendees are encouraged to walk around the Clearwater Sloop and see the inner workings for free. However, there is a fee for the public sail on the Hudson River. Those interested can purchase tickets to ride on the historic sloop, specifically designed for this season. It costs $50 for adults, $35 for members and $15 for children 12 and under, according to the Clearwater website.

A few of the festivals are being held in conjunction with other events happening in the area the docks are located. The organizers hope these collaborations will make for a larger audience, better promotional convenience and provide a greater amount of entertainment for attendees in the end, said Richards.

The Poughkeepsie sail was held in conjunction with the Kid’s Expo on Oct. 2 and included musical performances and other interesting events on the Restored Pennsylvania 399 Barge.

“Loads and loads of people came to visit the boat and learn about Clearwater,” Richards said.

Another location that will have partner festivities is Beacon. They will be holding a festival in Kingston on Oct. 15, the weekend of the 232nd Burning of Kingston reenactment ceremony, according to the First Ulster Militia website. Clearwater will also be working together with the Beacon Sloop Club’s sail festival the following day.

Clearwater sloop is helping the communities they stop in by picking up canned goods and bringing them to the next dock for food pantries to give to those in need.

“The sloop is a cargo boat and cargo is different right now,” Richards said. “So we’re collecting canned goods from the schools instead of pigs and pumpkins and farm items.”

Although they know the turnout will be large for the festivities held simultaneously with other docks, they are uncertain about the crowd they will draw when they are on their own, yet Richards is optimistic.

The next sail will be on Saturday at the Kingston waterfront. For more information about Clearwater’s Pumpkin Sail, visit www.clearwater.org.