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Aquefest celebrates the Old Croton Aqueduct
You might not give a second thought to where your water comes from when you turn on the faucet, but this weekend, the 8th annual Aquefest is celebrating that source: the Old Croton Aqueduct.
“We want to educate the community and beyond about this National Historic Landmark and State Historic Park that runs through the backyard of seven Westchester communities,” said Eileen Charles, an Aquefest producer. “It’s a thrill to learn you are walking on history.”
The free celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 along the Old Croton Trail in Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington.
Early birds can participate in the Rivertowns Roll bike ride or the Aqueduct Run along the trail at 9 a.m. Then the festivities begin in Irvington at 10 a.m. where guides in period costumes will share stories from the historic village's past. Guests can also take a village walk and see the restored Tiffany Reading Room and a Ford Theater replica inside the Village Hall.
The bulk of the day’s events, as well as the more family-friendly activities, will take place in Hastings-on-Hudson and Dobbs Ferry from noon to 5 p.m. In Hastings-on-Hudson, children can fly kites, learn yoga, or build their own instruments to play in a parade. Several local bands will also be performing in Hastings, including Solar Punch, a band whose message about the environment is backed by its use of solar energy to power its instruments.
If your children are into animals, head down the Old Croton Trail to Dobbs Ferry where Pied Piper will host a petting zoo and pony rides. Other entertainment here includes an Irish Step Dance performance and lesson from Dance and Theater Arts and a puppet show by Arm of the Sea, who will tell the tale of how aqueducts brought water to New York City. Visitors will also be able to meet the aqueduct’s original keeper, James Bremner, and learn The Croton Ode, a poem written when the aqueduct opened in 1842.
Hundreds of visitors are expected to attend this event, which has grown rapidly over the last eight years. The hope for the event is that it will raise awareness of the historic aqueduct and eventually encourage all communities along the 26-mile Old Croton Trail to participate.
"We are so grateful for the way the community supports our work and loves our unique and beautiful trail," said Aquefest president Mavis Caine.
Find out more at aqueduct.com.
Photo: A puppet from the 2011 Aquefest celebration.