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City of Water Day Brings Boatloads of Free Events to the Waterfront

Kayakers brought their boats ashore during City of Water Day 2011.
Kayakers brought their boats ashore during City of Water Day 2011.
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Paul Margolis

GOVERNORS ISLAND — Just in time for the latest heat wave, here's a new way to cool off.

City of Water Day kicked off all over the city Saturday, offering dozens of free events on Governors Island and in other breezy waterfront spots throughout New York Harbor, as soaring humidity levels promised a sticky, sweaty afternoon.

The fifth annual water-focused festival was expected to draw thousands of people for free kayaking, boat tours, fishing demonstrations and even a chance to take a paddleboard out into the harbor.

Most of the events take place on Governors Island and in New Jersey's Liberty State Park between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., with free ferry service running between the two spots. There will be plenty of activities for children, including face-painting, a critter tank, live music and games.

As part of City of Water Day, Hudson River Park will also host free rowing lessons on Pier 84, at West 42nd Street, from 2 to 7 p.m., and free tours of historic boats on Pier 25, at North Moore Street, starting at 1 p.m. The Pegasus, a tugboat, will be open until 5 p.m., and the Lilac, a historic lighthouse tender, will be open until 6 p.m. The Lilac is also hosting "The Butterfly Effect," an exhibit by artists who spent the past week living aboard the vessel.

For more information about City of Water Day, along with a complete listing of events, visit the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's website.