Walk This Way

After 17 years of planning, fund-raising, legal manuevering, and dangerous manual labor, the long-awaited Walkway Over the Hudson opens this month. Here’s how the one-time longest bridge in the world became the crown jewel of the Quadricentennial celebrations

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Fred SchaefferValley vista: Walkway chairman Fred Schaeffer on the bridge with its magnificent views South to the Mid-Hudson Bridge

The Hoopla: Oct. 2-Oct. 4

It’s really happening: Walkway Over the Hudson opens to the public during a three-day weekend celebration early this month. Rumor has it that Governor David Paterson and his wife, Michelle Paterson, honorary chair of the Quadricentennial, will make an appearance. Here’s the lineup (visit www.walkway.org for updates):

Friday, Oct. 2: 7-10 p.m.: “Out of the Shadows,” an illumination of the walkway. Among the glowing objects will be a 1,000 Points of Light Lantern Release, River of Light Promenade, Moon Glow Hot Air Balloon Display, and a visit from the fireboat J.J. Harvey, all lit up for the occasion. There will also be fireworks. The festivities are viewable from Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie and the Highland Landing Park, among other places.

Saturday, Oct. 3: 9-11 a.m.: Marist College Crew presents a re-creation of the Poughkeepsie Regatta between Roger’s Point in Hyde Park and the Mid-Hudson Bridge. 1-3 p.m.: County executives throw open the gates on both sides of the river, with a knot-tying by City of Poughkeepsie and Town of Lloyd officials. Parade featuring puppets, designed by artists and Dutchess and Ulster community members, of river staples such as the Half Moon and sturgeons. Official grand opening to the general public. 5-9 p.m.: Light show and other festivities. Bring or wear something illuminated.

Saturday, Oct. 3 & Sunday, Oct. 4: Clearwater Music Festival and river cruises, as well as a performance by Arm of the Sea Theater about Henry Hudson. (Sat. in Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie; Sun. in Highland Landing Park, Highland.)

Sunday, Oct. 4: 8 a.m.: Rooftops to Treetops 5K Race across the Walkway sponsored by the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club. Grand opening of the Walkway loop trail.
Shuttle buses from area parking lots will bring visitors to the bridge.


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