PLATTSBURGH - Though there's still snow on the ground, planning for the annual summer Mayor's Cup celebration is in full swing.
Representatives from the Sunrise Rotary Club and City Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak announced the nonprofit organization and the city will be taking a more unified approach to hosting the event, now in its 33rd year. Historically, the two entities have been responsible for hosting their own Mayor's Cup events, which led to some confusion, said Sunrise Rotary member and Mayor's Cup Committee co-chair Dr. Jake DeSnyder.
"There were two different events, two different projects going on, two different fundraisers," he said. "So, we've made it more unified this year and we've gotten a lot of positive feedback."
The basic framework of the three-day event will remain the same, with the return of the Boat Parade of Lights starting at the Lake Champlain waterfront at Wilcox Dock the evening of Thursday, July 8. Last year's boat parade drew approximately 30 entrees and has become a fixture with Mayor's Cup, said DeSnyder.
"The idea is for it to be just a fun event, decorate the boats and have what's turned out to be a very nice evening parade," he said.
This year, Kasprzak will serve as one of the three judges for the event, which will include new categories for smallest boat and boat that has come the farthest to participate in the event.
The event will again include a fire works celebration on the downtown waterfront Saturday, July 10 - one week after the city's Fourth of July fireworks celebration returns to downtown the Sunday before.
"I'm really confident that will help everybody downtown and draw more people here," Kasprzak said of having both fireworks celebrations downtown following requests from city residents.
Though planning for Mayor's Cup is in its preliminary stages, one local act has been booked. Glass Onion will perform on the downtown waterfront July 10. Other acts are in the process of being booked, said Kasprzak.
The North Country Cultural Center for the Arts is once again teaming up with Mayor's Cup organizers to host events including a "See Food" sculpture contest, sponsored by CVPH Medical Center. The contest will involve teams from local schools, organization and businesses as well as individuals collecting canned goods to be positioned into sculptures. Following the contest, the food will be donated to local food pantries.
"We're hoping that will be a nice addition and I'm sure it will," said DeSnyder.
Returning events other than the boat parade are expected to be part of the celebration once again including a 5-kilometer walk/run, the CVPH Mountain to Lake Bike Ride, and, of course, the Mayor's Cup Regatta.
The key this year to the continued success of the event is increased cooperation, said the mayor.
"We're all working together to do this, which is really important for the city of Plattsburgh, downtown and the community," said Kasprzak.
"That, to us, is a very important change this year," said DeSnyder.
The Mayor's Cup Web site, www.mayorscup.com, and city Web site, www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov,will have more information about the event as it becomes available. For more information, contact the Mayor's Cup Landlubber Events Committee at 563-7701, Waterfront Events Committee at 561-8790, and Arts Events Committee at 561-1604.