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Maritime Fun is Underway at the Waterford Tugboat Roundup

This year the 18th annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. Filled with music, fireworks, food, displays, craft vendors and artists. Plus, the boat show, Farmer's Market, souvenir sellers, kid's activities and boats there will be something for all ages!

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Erie Canal and we are full into nearly a decade of bicentennial celebrations.  The Roundup is proud to be a part of and to illustrate the history of our waterways as a family oriented festival along the "Waterford Wall" at the eastern gateway to the Erie Canal.

The Roundup, always the weekend after Labor Day (September 8 - 10), will have everything you've grown to expect and more.  The music, the incredible fireworks, the food, the displays, the craft vendors and artists.  Don't forget the boat show and the Farmer's Market, too!  The souvenir sellers will be there.  The "Line Toss" and all the kid's activities. 

And, of course, the boats.  Because it's really all about the boats, after all!

Throughout the Weekend, Visit Food and Craft Vendors, Souvenir stands and shore-displays.  Look for the Farmer's Market at Lock 2.  Many of the Tugs will be open for walk-through tours, too. All events are free, although boat rides do have a nominal charge.  Boat tickets are available at their docks.

2017 Roundup Schedule:

*Note that not all times are specific - mini-tugs may be going out anytime.  Push-off's and nose to nose competitions are an involved project and are solely based on the decisions of captains, crews and other issues.

Friday, September 8th

12:00 noon - Tugs leave Waterford to join others along the Albany waterfront.  Remember:  This is all TUGBOAT time!!
3:45   - Tugs muster at the Erastus Corning Preserve and head north on the Hudson River.  They should be in Watervliet and South Troy around 4:30 or so and soon after northbound from the Troy lock.
5:30    -   Tugs start arriving in Waterford amid great celebration at the 18th Annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup.
4:00 - 7:00  -  Music begins in front of the Visitor's Center.  Bands play throughout the weekend!

Saturday, September 9

Morning is a great time for pictures of the boats and vendors start opening around 10.

Throughout the day, the Farmer's Market will be at Lock 2.  The mini-tugs will be doing their thing with antics up and down the canal and maybe even through the lock!  Some of the tugs will be open for walk-throughs and on shore are the vendors, demonstrations, kid's activites, exhibits and more.  Don't forget the new boat show at lock 2 and tours of the venerable and historic Tug Urger.   Line-splicing and knot-tying seminars will be taking place, too!   (The boat show is produced by the Eastern NY Marine Dealer's Association, Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce and Boating On The Hudson.) 

The Caldwell Belle will provide boat rides on the Hudson and by the tugs on 45 minute tours (tickets at their boat, down by the "battery").

11:00 - 8:30   -  Music continues on the Grand Erie, in front of the visitor's center.
11:00 - 12:00    -  "Barge Talk"  Growing Commerce on the Canals and River
12:30  -  Line Tossing, round 1  (at the Battery)
12:00 - dusk  Kid's activities open at Lock 2, including a bounce house and pony rides (ponies until 4)
2:00 - 3:00  -   "Barge Talk"  Anniversary News for Canals and Updates from Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
8:30 (or dark)  -  Fireworks!!

Sunday, September 10

On Sunday, we'll be doing many of the same things - and just a little bit more.  Look for the Mini-Tugs, vendors, demonstrations and exhibits.  Stop by the Farmer's Market at lock 2 along with the boat show.  Tour the Urger, see how the locks work and more.  Some of the boats will be open for walk-through tours today, too!

The Caldwell Belle boat rides continue - from the Battery with tickets available at the boat.

10:00    -   The "Tugboat Chug" begins at lock 2.  A 5k walk/run open for everybody.  Register now here.
11:00 - 3:00   -  Music continues on the Grand Erie, in front of the Visitor's Center
11:00 - 12:00  -  "Barge Talk"  History and Story behind the 2017 Tug of the Year
12:15   -  Line Tossing Round 2   At the Battery
12:00    -  Kid's activities resume at Lock 2
1:30 - 2:30   -  "Barge Talk"   9/11 Boat Lift from Manhattan, told by a captain of a tug involved.
3:30   -   All of this is not without reward.   Like any good festival with competitive machines and crew - we have an Award Program.   Right in front of the Visitor's Center with awards ranging from Best Vintage Tug, to Nose to Nose, 1st Place, to Best Mini-Tug and for whoever wins the Line-Toss event.   It's fun, light and a great way to close a great weekend.

Look for the People's Choice Award too, balloting will have taken place all weekend.

For more information, go online to


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