Historic sites at both ends of the Lake Champlain Bridge will host the climax Quadricentennial Festival of Nations event on the weekend of Sept. 18-20.
On Friday, Sept. 18, in addition to the atlatl workshop (pre-registration required) at Chimney Point State Historic Site in Vermont, special programming for visiting school groups will be offered at nearby Crown Point State Historic Site and aboard the Lois McClure replica schooner which will be docked at Crown Point Reservation Campground's renovated steamboat dock.
On Friday morning, "Samuel Champlain" [portrayed by Don Thompson] will twice present, under a large tent at the New York State historic site, a most interesting and timely educational program about his life and his excursion on Lake Champlain 400 years ago. And vocalist and instrumentalist Linda Russell will perform, in a covered pavilion at the New York State historic site, two morning concerts of authentic music familiar to Lake Champlain inhabitants during the 1700s.
After lunchtime, visiting school groups will follow archeological tours led by knowledgeable archeologists who will show the organized student groups what they have been discovering at Crown Point this year. Other options during the school field trip day include viewings of the new high-definition digital video program and the new "Raids, Redoubts, Redcoats, and Ruins" exhibition, both inside the museum at Crown Point State Historic Site. Group reservations are required.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, there will be free admission to more public programming at Chimney Point State Historic Site, at Crown Point Reservation Campground, and at Crown Point State Historic Site. Activities at Chimney Point include an atlatl competition, craft demonstrations, and music by Atlantic Crossing and by the Seth Warner Fife and Drum Corps. At the campground and historic site on the New York end of the Lake Champlain Bridge, Sept. 19 is Crown Point Quadricentennial Day, sponsored by the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission as a legacy project.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Samuel Champlain's excursion on Lake Champlain, the Saturday event includes performances by Martin Sexton, the United States Merchant Marine Academy Band, Piers Faccini, Junstin Jones and the Driving Rain, Stephane Wrembel, Bear Tracks, Tim Jennings, and LeAnne Ponder. There will also be food vendors, displays under a tent, and a screening of the upcoming Samuel Champlain film "Dead Reckoning." The Saturday, September 19 program highlights are the rededication at the Champlain Memorial lighthouse and the fireworks show. Free parking is available; guests may wish to bring a flashlight to use for walking to their vehicles after the fireworks.
On Sunday, Sept. 20, one lane (not both!) of the Lake Champlain Bridge will be open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m., a special one-hour opportunity for the public to enjoy the vistas from the bridge. Thanks to Chimney Point and the Lake Champlain Committee, live music will be provided by Blue Sky Boys. The historic site on the Vermont end of the bridge will host a continuation of select Festival of Nations free programming on Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Crown Point State Historic Site on the New York end of the Lake Champlain bridge, which fits Samuel Champlain's description ("at the extremity of a cape which extends into the lake on the western bank") of where he participated in a July 30, 1609 battle, will host one special program on Sunday afternoon, September 20. In the museum auditorium, at 1 p.m., filmmaker Caro Thompson will introduce a one-hour showing of her Emmy Award-winning documentary, "Champlain: The Lake Between," followed by a discussion.
Late last year, Vermont Public Television hosted the broadcast premiere of "Champlain: The Lake Between." Guests who attend this Director's Screening will hear some of the insights that went into the making of this acclaimed documentary. The public is invited to come hear how world history came together in what is now Vermont, New York and Quebec. Carol Thompson is well-known for Vermont Public Television projects: the series "Rural Free Delivery," documentaries "In Days Gone By," "Barns: Legacy of Wood & Stone," and "New England's Great River: Discovering the Connecticut." Thompson is a trustee of the Vermont Arts Council and a member of the University of Vermont's Center for Research on Vermont.