By Kim Lightbody
Don’t miss the boat on this festival.
A tugboat and barge from the early 1900s are docking at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 this month, bringing with them nautical-themed fun to Brooklyn Heights.
The aptly named “Tug and Barge Week,” running from July 15 to 25, will include activities like kayaking and fishing, as well as theater and live music on dry land.
“We’re trying to bring back the waterfront,” said David Sharps (pictured), captain of the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, which will move upriver from its longtime Red Hook home for the festival. “Too many times, we rebuild waterfront parks and we ‘miss the boat,’ so to speak. There’s pedestrian piers and volleyball courts, but where’s the waterfront use?”
Along with Pamela Hepburn, captain of a 1907 tugboat, Sharps has planned 10 days of outdoor fun to change local attitudes about the East River. On July 16, adventurous locals can go kayaking under the Manhattan Bridge, fishing off the Pier, and watch a squid dissection, among other things. And on July 24, families can come see Showboat Shazzam, a circus show aboard the docked barge that includes flying trapezes, acrobats, and features Captain Sharps himself as a vase-balancing trickster.
Plus, each day of the program visitors can explore the Waterfront Museum on the barge, which is housing an art exhibition dedicated to deep-sea creatures.
“There’s a lot of activity,” said Sharps. “We’re trying to highlight the importance and significance of our water highway, for both commerce and enjoyment.”
“Tug and Barge Week” at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 [Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 624-4719] from July 15 to 25. For info, visit www.brooklynbridgepark.org.