Coming up: City of Water Day Festival

July 14, 2011 8:02:26 AM PDT
What's a better way to beat the heat than heading toward the water?On Saturday, July 16, more than 15,000 people will come together on Governors Island and at waterfront locations throughout the region to revitalize the New York-New Jersey harbor area as part of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's 4th annual City of Water Day Festival.

Held each year on Governors Island and in Liberty State Park -- and this year with seven "City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood" sites throughout New York City -- the festival is a unique, free, harbor-wide event celebrating the world-class potential of the region's waterfront. It demonstrates everything about the water that is fun and exciting while educating participants about the many critical issues it faces.

The inaugural seven "City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood" events will include activities in Bronx River Park, Hudson River Park, Harlem River Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, as well as Yonkers Paddling's circumnavigation of Manhattan by kayak and NYC Swim's Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Relay.

Highlights of the 2011 festival will include:

  • Free narrated harbor boat tours for more than 2,500 people on the region's premier working, historic, and educational vessels;

  • A flotilla of more than 250 paddlers, rowers, and sailors converging on the festival from launch points throughout the harbor;

  • Kayaking and paddle-boarding lessons (Liberty State Park only);

  • Free semi-private sailing trips (available through a festival Twitter contest);

  • The Waterfront Activity Fair, showcasing hundreds of businesses and organizations working to revitalize our waterfront;

  • "Water-Rama: A Symposium on our Harbor" (Governors Island only);

  • Special activities just for families like water-themed arts and crafts, touch-tanks, puppet shows, and relay races;

  • Free ferry transit between Governors Island and Liberty State Park;

  • Live music and the some of the region's top food vendors

More detailed information can be found at

The festival brought more than 12,000 people to Governors Island and Liberty State Park to participate in dozens of exciting waterfront activities, while hundreds of thousands more heard the City of Water Day message through event media sponsors. Festival officials anticipate 15,000 or more participants this year.