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Westport prepares for Heritage Festival

WESTPORT - The 10th annual Westport Heritage Festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 8, and will celebrate 400 years of boating on Lake Champlain.

The festival, which benefits the Westport Heritage House, begins at 10 a.m. with a fun race from Camp Dudley to Ballard Park and concludes with a fireworks display, beginning at 9:30 p.m. In between, there's plenty of activity for the entire family.

"This is the single fundraiser for the Heritage House and it's a great event that brings together the entire community," remarked Nancy Decker, the festival's chairwoman. "Each year there's a lot to see and do, but this year I'm particularly excited because of many of the new activities and events."

One of the new events added to the festival is the bike decorating contest. Youngsters are encouraged to bring their bike decorated in one of three categories: funniest, most patriotic and "back to the future," to be judged at the Ballard Park pavilion, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The Westport Quadricentennial Committee is also looking for items to place in its time capsule that will be 'buried' during the festival.

"We would like to have items that represent our town," stated Decker. "We're still trying to find an appropriate place to 'bury' the capsule, but this is a way to leave Westport's historical footprint behind for the future."

Other events highlighting the festival include the Lake Champlain antique and classic boat show with a parade of boats and the Lois McClure at the marina, the Philadelphia II at the Yacht Club dock, the Plein Air silent auction and the themed basket silent auction. In addition there will be a wide array of music performed at the Ballard Pavilion.

The line-up features the Dudley Rhythm Ramblers from 1:30-2:30 p.m., James Mayo with the Dudley Choir from 2:30-3:30 p.m., and Atlantic Crossing from 7-9 p.m. There will also be music at the Yacht Club dock, from 2-4 p.m., with Chris Layer and Pete Sutherland.

Access to the festival is free with tokens being sold near the beverage tent for the food. Raffle tickets and pins can also be purchased and all proceeds benefit the Westport Heritage House. For more information, log on to www.westportny.com or contact Nancy Decker at 962-4805, or by e-mail, decker2@westelcom.com.

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