ShowBoat CIRCUS Presents DeadPan Alley starring Will Shaw

Will Shaw

Sunday June 22 Performances 1 and 4 pm aboard Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79

Buy tickets here

DeadPan Alley is a one-hour, one-man performance of physical comedy, verbal wit and expert skill.

Audiences of all ages will be thrilled with astounding and hilarious displays of juggling and balance, fancy cowboy roping, flying boomerangs, rare and amazing spinning top manipulations, hat tricks, sight gags, audience participation and clowning steeped in the traditions of the great comedians from the silent film era to the present.

Will Shaw

Will Shaw has performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Sesame Street and was an instructor for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College.

The show is one-day only on June 22 at 1 and 4 pm.

Advance tickets: Adults $13, kids $10. Tickets at the door (when available): Adults $15, kids $12.

Buy tickets here
July 4th Fireworks Fundraiser Canceled: New York City’s 2014 fireworks will be displayed over the East River so our annual fundraiser on the Hudson River is canceled.  Please consider making a donation in support of historic ships.

North River Historic Ship Gala Join us for the festival’s grand finale on a 100-year-old covered wooden barge.

Tuesday, June 24
6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

at Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79

Buy tickets here

Helena Durst
Helena Durst

Help us welcome our special guest, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and honor our 2014 Historic Ship Champion, Helena Durst.

Helena is a Vice President of the Durst Corporation and President of New York Water Taxi.

We are honoring Helena for her strong commitment New York’s waterfront and access to the water city-wide and her support of the annual North River Historic Ship Festival, which has made free public boat trips a reality for hundreds of people.

The gala will be a wonderful party with great spirits (liquid and otherwise), great food, and great people. Proceeds support free programming on historic vessels, and tax-deductible tickets start at $50.

Buy tickets here

The North River Historic Ship Society, founded in 1994, is a state-chartered nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the restoration of historic ships, advocates for free dockage so that these ships can be open to the public, and it sponsors public programs.

What's the North River? "North River" is the historic name of the Lower Hudson River (from the Battery to the northern tip of Manhattan). It dates back to the 17th-century Dutch who called the Hudson the "North River" and the Delaware (along New Jersey’s southern shore) the "South River." Today’s professional mariners still call the Lower Hudson the North River.

Click here to join our mailing list.


Donate to all the historic ships through
                      NRHSS
Donate to all the historic ships through NRHSS!
Sixth Annual
North River Historic Ship Festival

Friday, June 20-Tuesday, June 24

Hudson River Park's Pier 25
Hudson River and N. Moore St.
Lower Manhattan

Free boat rides on a tug, a fireboat and a schooner, hands-on tours of museum ships, a circus on a showboat, fishing on the pier, a party on a wooden barge, and more.

Tug Pegasus and Fireboat John J. Harvey
Photo © Ann T. Rossetti

The 107-year-old tugboat Pegasus and the retired NYC fireboat John J. Harvey delighted guests with free river trips at last year's festival. They are scheduled to be back again this year.

For the sixth year in a row, the North River Historic Ship Society invites kids of all ages (that means grownups who want to have fun, too) to join us to celebrate our maritime past.  Events include free tours of historic ships; free trips on the Hudson River aboard a schooner, a tugboat and a fireboat; a circus on a showboat, pier-side fishing, nautical knot-tying and more.

Click here for location information.

For a report on the 2013 festival, click here.


Schedule of Events

Friday, June 20, 5-8 p.m.
Dockside ship tours. Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79, tug Pegasus and Lilac. Free.

Saturday, June 21,
12-5 p.m.

Dockside ship tours. Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79 and Lilac. Free.

Free boat trips on the Hudson River aboard the fireboat John J. Harvey, the tug Pegasus and the schooner Pioneer.

Boat Trips take place on Saturday only. Trips are free but each guest, regardless of age, must have a boarding pass.

Schooner Pioneer – 12 noon, 2 pm, 3:45 pm
Fireboat John J Harvey – 12: 30 pm, 1:45 pm,
3 pm, and 4:15 pm
Tugboat Pegasus - 1 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4 pm

  • Advance reservations have sold out, but we will distribute 150 boat-ride tickets on a first come, first-served basis beginning at 11:30 am on Saturday. In past years tickets for all rides were distributed within the first hour.
  • Once those are gone, we will set up a standby list. Unclaimed boarding passes will be given to standbys 10 minutes before each trip.
  • If you have advance reservations, you must pick up your boarding passes at the North River Historic Ship Society booth 15 minutes before your scheduled departure. Unclaimed boarding passes will be given to standbys 10 minutes before each trip.

Sunday, June 22, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Showboat CIRCUS,
Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79. Two performances of “DeadPan Alley, a one-hour, one-man performance of physical comedy, verbal wit and expert skill, starring Will Shaw.

Buy tickets here.

1 -5 p.m.
Fishing, river-critter exploration and knot-tying, alongside and onboard Lilac. Educators from Hudson River Park and the River Project will share local research and fun science activities for families to experience Hudson River wildlife. Lilac crew will offer lessons in the maritime art of knot-tying. Free.

Monday, June 23
No events.

Tuesday, June 24, 6-8:30 p.m.
Gala Reception honoring Helena Durst, VP of the Durst Organization and President of New York Water Taxi, with special guest Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, aboard Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79.

Buy tickets here.


Participating Vessels

Ships at the festival
Aerial photo copyright Milo Hess.

Lehigh Valley Barge #79, tug Pegasus, the steamship Lilac, and fireboat John J. Harvey (above, left to right) will offer river trips or dockside tours during the festival, as will the schooner Pioneer, pictured above.

Vessels participating in the festival will include:

  • Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79, built in 1914 and celebrating its 100th birthday this year. It is the only surviving wooden railroad barge of its type. Once aboard visitors will see the tools that the longshoremen used when the barge carried cargo, an amazing ball machine that whirls, jumps and plays music via gravity, and a special exhibit, “From Shore to Shore: Boat Builders & Boat Yards.”
  • The retired NYC fireboat John J. Harvey, built in 1931 and a 9/11 firefighting hero, looking better than ever after recent major restoration work.
  • The 174-foot former Coast Guard lighthouse tender Lilac, built in 1933 and the last steam-powered lighthouse tender in America. Visitors can see crew quarters, heavy-lift cranes and the ship’s amazing triple expansion steam engine. A special exhibit, The Hero Project, a stunning series of photographs of dancers posed aboard historic ships by Jonathan Atkin, hangs throughout the ship.
  • The iron-hulled schooner Pioneer, built in 1885 to carry cargo, now carrying passengers on harbor sails. She is owned by South Street Seaport Museum.
  • The 107-year-old tug Pegasus, who spent her long career towing barges and docking ships in New York Harbor.

Festival Highlights

More than 6,000 people have participated in the four North River Historic Ship Festivals held in Hudson River Park since 2009.  Adults and kids, from West Side neighbors to international visitors, have come to explore antique ships, take boat rides on the river and learn how ships like these made New York one of the greatest ports in the world.  We expect another 1,500 people to join us again this year. Scenes from previous festivals are below.

copyright North River Historic Ship Society copyright North River Historic Ship Society
copyright North River Historic Ship Society copyright North River Historic Ship Society

copyright North River Historic Ship Society

Photo credits: Betsy Haggerty, Ann T. Rossetti, Bernie Ente.
Clockwise from top left:  Learning about steam engines aboard Lilac; registering for free tours and trips at the North River Historic Ship Society booth on Pier 25; gathering near Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79; getting wet on fireboat John J. Harvey; starting out on a river trip aboard John J. Harvey, as tug Pegasus ties up to Lehigh Valley No. 79 a.k.a. the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge.
The festival is made possible by the North River Historic Ship Society in cooperation with the Hudson River Park Trust and Friends of Hudson River Park.