County plans quadricentennial events

After Dutch explorer Henry Hudson made his historic 1609 journey up the river that would eventually bear his name, he didn't let his spirit of exploration die, instead making another epic expedition to North America.

Organizers of New York's quadricentennial celebration, which celebrates the feats of Hudson, Samuel Champlain and Robert Fulton, hope that New Yorkers take that lesson to heart and make their own discoveries during the massive and varied Explore 400 celebration that is to enter full swing this summer.

Events in Saratoga County and elsewhere are already under way. The county is receiving a $45,000 grant from the state to help smaller governments stage their own events.

We think it's a wonderful thing to be able to have the different communities find ways that are unique to them to be able to celebrate this, said Town of Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth, who sits on the county's Explore 400 Committee. "It's going to be a great opportunity for the residents not only of the independent towns, but for the whole county."

The yearlong theme is not only meant to hearken back to Hudson's historic journey, but be a reminder that there is always something to explore in the area.

"I think it's two pronged," said Nelson Ronsvalle, grant coordination at the Town of Halfmoon and a quadricentennial event organizer for the town, of the celebration's theme.

"One is recognizing the exploration of Henry Hudson and Champlain. That's an appropriate word for what they set out to do 400 years ago. In the current day, it's for us to explore and reconnect with history."

In the Town of Halfmoon, the quadricentennial holds particular significance, as the Half Moon was the vessel in which Hudson made his historic journey. Accordingly, the town will be celebrating this summer.

"In August, we're looking to have an event on the Hudson River that's a celebration of the quadricentennial," said Ronsvalle.

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