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by NYC Editor, 09/08/2009

 
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MAYOR BLOOMBERG, SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON AND NETHERLANDS CROWN PRINCE KICK OFF NY400 WEEK ABOARD THE INTREPID

Six Days of Festivals and Events from September 8-13 Culminating With First-Ever Harbor Day Will Honor 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Arrival and Celebrate City’s Revitalized Waterfront and Continued Friendship with the Dutch

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta this morning welcomed Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands to New York City to kick off NY400 Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. NY400 Week, which runs from September 8-13, is a citywide celebration of events and activities to mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival on a Dutch ship at the shores of what is now New York Harbor in September 1609. New Yorkers and visitors will enjoy Dutch festivals, sailing races, dance parties, free bike rentals, museum exhibitions and other activities on land and sea as they celebrate the shared history and connections of New York City and the Dutch. NY400 Week culminates with the first-ever Harbor Day on Sunday, September 13 at six waterfront sites across the City.

“Henry Hudson arrived on these shores 400 years ago and helped lay the foundation for what would later become New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New York City's history has early and deep connections with the Dutch, and - with the City welcoming a record 241,000 visitors from the Netherlands last year - that relationship continues to flourish. NY400 Week will be a historic celebration of the Hudson anniversary and New York City's Dutch ties. I encourage all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy the festivals, concerts, artistic exhibitions and special events taking place in the five boroughs. And I'm grateful to The Royal Family and all of NY400 week's supporters for making it possible.”

“Princess Máxima and I are overwhelmed with this tremendous welcoming to New York,” said His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange. “It is wonderful to still be able to see the Dutch influences across the City, from transportation and art to music and food. This great city was built on the values of the early Dutch-American pioneers in New Amsterdam that we still share with you today: a passion for liberty, an entrepreneurial spirit, freedom of conscience, and the unwavering belief that everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness. We are looking forward to experiencing a bit of home in all of this week’s festivities.”

“NY400 Week and Harbor Day will celebrate and commemorate this iconic moment in New York City’s history—we are honored to have worked so closely with the Dutch government over the last year to ensure that we acknowledge this important cultural and commercial connection and ensure its lasting legacy,” said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO.

During the opening ceremony, a flotilla of 11 ships comprised of NATO vessels, Dutch naval frigates, a US frigate, Dutch barges, Flying Dutchman racers, yachts and a replica of Hudson’s ‘Halve Maen’ (‘Half Moon’) and Captain Block’s ‘Onrust’ sailed past the former USS Intrepid on the Hudson River. A 21-gun salute came from the Dutch naval ship HNLMS Tromp and the 75-member Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy performed to mark the 400th anniversary.

At the first-ever Harbor Day on Sunday, September 13, New Yorkers and visitors will enjoy a colorful flotilla of 86 different ships, an Oyster Festival, free bike rentals, Super Powerboat races, outdoor concerts, Dutch films, performances direct from Holland, and other celebrations at six of the City’s waterfronts: The Battery, Battery Park City, Hudson River Park, Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Snug Harbor. Harbor Day will become an annual event to signify the progress New York City has made in reclaiming its waterfront and opening harbor parks and greenways.

In January, Mayor Bloomberg, Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans and Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen announced a year of special celebrations, events and performances, which would take place in both New York and Amsterdam, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s arrival in New York. NY400 is the result of an initiative by the Dutch Government in close co-operation with Dutch local and provincial authorities, with New York City and New York State, and with active participation of a great number of organizations from the private, cultural and not-for-profit sectors. NY400 is being paid through a $10 million fund of the Dutch government. Last year New York City welcomed a record 241,000 visitors from the Netherlands, surpassing the record 181,000 visitors in 2007. New York City is the number one destination for Dutch travelers to the U.S. The Dutch market represented more than $455 million in spending power in 2008, up from $328 million in 2007.

For a full guide of the NY400 and Harbor Day events and other information, including hours and directions, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.

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Contact:Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Kimberly Spell / Tiffany Townsend (NYC & Company) (212) 484-1270
Office of Press Relations (U.S. Department of State) (202) 647-2492
Floris van Hövell (Royal Netherlands Embassy & Consulate General) (202) 413-5020
Marjan Inbar (Royal Netherlands Embassy & Consulate General) (646) 643-5913

Footage of the event is available through the Mayor’s Press Office and images and B-roll including sound bytes are available at www.nycgo.com/pressphotos in the "Today's News" section under "NY400."