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Submitted by:  Robert Stopper, Lyons

Boaters lined up at dock for festival
Fourteen (14) boats docked in Lyons on Friday evening, July 13, 2012. They arrived to participate in the Lyons Peppermint Days Festival.

This year, the Peppermint Days Committee, chaired by Dorothy Barnes, wished to incorporate the Historic Erie Canal into the festival– in days of yore, peppermint was shipped on the Erie Canal. Their wish was granted….

During the day on Saturday, 17 boats graced the Lyons dock. For many people who strolled the dock during the day, it was the closest they had ever been to a “big” boat. For everyone, it was definitely the closest they had ever been to a “Genuine-Honest-to-Goodness” Solar Boat.
The Loon offered free rides to festival go-ers
at Lyons Peppermint Days

The Solar Boat, “The Loon” was provided by The Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company from Rome, NY. Inventor, engineer, and boat pilot, Monte Gisborne, provided free rides throughout the day and into the evening. Over 100 people took advantage of the free ride– for all of them, they were making history- it was their first Solar Boat ride on the Erie Canal!

The NYS Canal Corporation was represented by the Tugboat Seneca. Canal NY was represented by Executive Director Captain JJ and the Penguin.
The Tugboat Seneca

Movie buffs recognized the “NAN” piloted by Ian and Nagarie Caroline from New Zealand. (The NAN was used by Paul Newman in the movie Absence of Malice). Several dock tourists recognized another boat, the “Wayward” piloted by Captain David Wahl, an Executive Director of the Canal Society of New York State.

The smallest boat to attend the festival was a 16’ C Dory, “Sea Salt” from Amarillo, Texas. The pilot and copilot, Lyle and Jandra, are in their seventies and find the canal “Absolutely”
fascinating. This is their first voyage on the Erie Canal.

Captain Randy Freeman arrived on the “Kylyn J,” a 34’ Marine Trader trawler. David Reach on his Hunter 26 from St. Mary’s City, Maryland wondered how such a small village could ever afford such fantastic fireworks …! Other boater tourist origins included Union Springs, Seneca falls, Baldwinsville, Brewerton, Enfield, NH, and Montoursville, PA.

During the week preceding the Peppermint Days Festival, Jean and Paul Miller aboard the Camelot acted as unofficial dock greeters, hosts, and information specialists for the Village of Lyons. To them and to all the boaters who participated in the Lyons Peppermint Days Festival— Thank you for becoming a part of Lyons history!


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