400th Anniversary Gala Plans of Hudson's Cape Discovery Advance

Source:  Cape May County Herald
Written by:  Al Campbell

Robert Elwell and Carol Boyd detailed plans Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting for this summer’s 400th anniversary celebration of Henry Hudson’s infamous navigational blunder that stuck his vessel, the Half Moon, on a sandbar somewhere off Cape May Point in Delaware Bay.

The city is planning a festival, which, if sufficient funds ($30,000-$50,000) can be collected, will include a visit of the replica Half Moon.

Elwell, with the aid of Norris Clark, displayed “Hudson, The Dreamer, 1609,” a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. Ferris was born in Philadelphia on Aug. 18, 1863, and created 78 works that depict American history. The painting Elwell showed which will hang in Cape May City Hall to mark the anniversary.

Elwell and Boyd, co-chairs of the 400th Anniversary Committee, also told of the ball at Congress Hall Feb. 15, that will help raise funds for the summer celebration.

They made their presentation to some 95 members gathered at Rio Station for the luncheon meeting.

The official anniversary of Hudson’s offshore stop is Aug. 28.

The city, he said, held a celebration 50 years ago, on the 350th anniversary of Hudson’s discovery.

“I would say that was probably the biggest parade Cape May ever saw,” stated Elwell in an earlier story.

He said the parade featured many bands and floats from a variety of places.
The 400th anniversary parade will be held July 25, 2009.

“We hope it will be as big as it was 50 years ago,” said Elwell.

Storytellers from the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts will appear in the 300 block of the Washington Street Mall and take the roles of persons important to Cape May’s history, he said.

The Netherlands consulate has been contacted to see if a Dutch naval vessel that will be visiting New York could stop at the Coast Guard Base in Cape May, he said.

(Reporter Jack Fichter contributed parts of this in an earlier story.)


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