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Hudson River celebration starts today

Grow Boating's marketing arm, Discover Boating, is an in-kind sponsor and the recreational boating representative for River Day, marking New York's 400th anniversary, the centerpiece of the ExploreNY400 and Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial celebration.

The nine-day flotilla begins today in Manhattan and continues up the Hudson River to Albany, N.Y.

River Day will engage yacht clubs, marinas, local boaters and Hudson River-based organizations. In addition to Discover Boating, the event has the support of New York's First Lady as well as the Coast Guard, Naval Militia, Power Squadrons, Sea Tow and others.

"The Hudson River has long been a cherished waterway for recreational boaters from around the country. This celebration allows us to honors its past, while looking forward to how we can preserve the river for future generations of recreational boaters," said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Grow Boating, in a statement.

River Day festivities start today with the official "Harbor Night" celebration in New York Harbor, which includes the blessing of the fleet by New York Gov. David A. Paterson and the awarding of the Medal of Discovery from Battery Park.

The Discover Boating fleet, comprising powerboats and sailboats from SailTime, will launch Saturday with the full relay flotilla from the Statue of Liberty and will be led by historic flagships up the Hudson.

Along the way, boaters will be welcomed by boating clubs that line the Hudson, and each club will send members out to continue the relay, tracing Henry Hudson's path until reaching Albany June 13.

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