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Museum plans busy Quadricentennial summer

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum officially opens for the season on Saturday, May 23.

"We've put together a weekend of celebrations to launch our wonderful new exhibits, special activities, and distinguished speakers," said spokeswoman Eloise Beil. "The museum's Discover 1609 theme celebrates and helps illuminate the Quadricentennial of Samuel de Champlain's journey to the lake. This action-packed weekend at LCMM also includes an after-hours dedication of the Rinehart Blacksmithing Arts Center, the Bon Voyage Party for schooner Lois McClure, and a Sunday afternoon reception for the traveling exhibition of new paintings of the Hudson River, Different at Every Turn. Take a look at the highlights of our opening weekend festivities, as we kick-off a year that promises to be one to remember."

•Who was Samuel de Champlain? His name is seen everywhere as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the 1609 expedition to Lake Champlain, but what was he really like? His explorations and personal diplomacy helped shape the world of today, yet Champlain revealed almost no personal information in his writings. Discover 1609, the newest exhibit at LCMM, invites you to discover the skillful and tenacious man behind the myth.

•Be the first to see our new exhibits, Discover 1609, Paintings of the Hudson River, and Shipwrecks!

•Travel back in time with one of the museum's education specialists for a demonstration of the navigation tools intrepid explorers used in the 1600s to help make these often uncharted journeys. Demonstrations will be held at 11:30am on both Saturday and Sunday.

What advice would a captain who made 27 transatlantic voyages under sail in a wooden ship give to a mariner? Find out at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with dynamic readings of Champlain's own words by Simon Barenbaum, PhD and Ruth S. Barenbaum at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Selections in both English and the original French will include Champlain's advice to sailors and sea captains, as well as the account of his journey on the lake.

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