The Half Moon, Henry Hudson’s ship
By now, you’ve certainly noticed the word “Quadricentennial” popping up all over the county—in fact, all over the state. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s trip up our favorite river, and the county has seen fit to fête the explorer in style. All year, programs, events, parties, and other activities will honor the history of the river and its surrounding area. (That means us!)
“The Quadricentennial will bring people to Westchester and the Hudson Valley so they can explore the area, learn the history, and enjoy the Hudson River,” says Kim Sinistore, director of the Westchester County Office of Tourism.
“My belief is that the most interesting thing about historical celebrations is the ability for them to hint at the continuum we’re always living within: The Hudson was, the Hudson is, and, under any name, it has supported civilization from the Lenape people, to the Philipse clan, to industry and recreation today,” says Brittany Wheeler, museum programs coordinator at the Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site.
Ready to learn some New York State history? Check out these events this month:
Philipse Manor Hall is the place to be for this month’s Quad events. Celebrate our Dutch heritage with the (free!) Flower Fest on May 2, where you can learn about the famous Dutch tulips and get some goodies in the flower and bake sale. Don’t forget to take a spin around the maypole. Then, on May 17, the Hall hosts author and performer Adam Gersacov for Exploring with Henry Hudson: An Interactive Performance, in which he becomes Henry Hudson and reenacts his famous exploration. Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers (914-965-4027).
ArtsWestchester’s Arts Bash is always a grand time, but this year they have something extra special to celebrate. When the bash gets underway on May 15, they’ll recognize the Quadricentennial by featuring local artists who use recycled material in their works, raising awareness for the environment so we can keep the planet in the condition in which Henry Hudson found it. ArtsWestchester, White Plains (914-428-4220).
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, tours continue all month on May 3, 17, and 31 from 1 pm to 3 pm. Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, Kingsland Point Park (914-366-5109).
Finally, on the other side of the river, the Historical Society of Rockland County celebrates a different era of the Hudson River—when the Tappan Zee Bridge was built, and what that meant for Rockland County. The Tappan Zee Bridge: Transforming Rockland County runs from May 24 to October 31. Historical Society of Rockland County, New City, NY (845-634-9629).
For more information on Quadricentennial events, visit tourism.westchestergov.com, exploreny400.com, travelhudsonvalley.org, and everythingdutch.org. Look here for updates on each month’s Quad events.