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NYPA President Announces 1st St. Lawrence River Power Dam Jam to be Held at Hawkins Point Visitors Center

Jill Chamberlain
315-764-0226, ext. 300
800-262-NYPA, if calling from NY State

May 17, 2006


MASSENA—Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced here today that the 1st Annual St. Lawrence River Power Dam Jam will be held on the grounds of NYPA’s new Hawkins Point Visitors Center in keeping with NYPA’s ongoing involvement and commitment to the vitality of  the local community.  Carey also presented the major sponsorship contribution for the Power Dam Jam to Paul Haggett, Executive Director, Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, who accepted the contribution on behalf of the Power Dam Jam Committee.

“NYPA’s beautiful, new Hawkins Point Visitors Center is the ideal location for the 1st Annual St. Lawrence River Power Dam Jam as it is a top-notch community facility with the spacious grounds and picture-perfect views of the St. Lawrence River and the Power Dam to create a stunning home for this new exciting music festival,” said Carey.  “Whether it is support for the local first responders and Massena Memorial Hospital or for our students involved in robotics and envirothon programs, the Power Authority recognizes the importance of supporting those efforts that make the North Country a great place for families to call home.”

“The Power Authority has again stepped up and shown its continuing dedication to the community by offering the Hawkins Point Visitors Center as the outstanding venue necessary to attract exceptional traditional musicians and by providing this leadership donation for the important financial foundation to help make this new event a success,” said Paul Haggett, executive director, Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce.

The Power Dam Jam will be held on Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12.  The Power Dam Jam is the newly revitalized Festival of North Country Folklife which NYPA co-sponsored for over 20 years.  Currently scheduled to perform are the well-known bluegrass group, the Gibson Brothers Band on Friday evening and the Cornwall-based Celtic music ensemble, the Brigadoons, on Saturday evening.   An exceptional line-up of musical concerts and performances including country, fiddle tunes, gospel, bluegrass, ethnic folk music and more, will be presented. 

The new Hawkins Point Visitors Center will host the first Power Dam Jam, to take advantage of the location’s open grounds and panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and power dam for NYPA’s St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project.  The $5 million Visitors Center opened just last year and has become a favorite tourist and family destination as a fun educational place to learn about electricity and energy.  It was also designed to serve as a community resource and has hosted meetings, classes and local events.

The Power Authority sponsorship will be joined with contributions by SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Alcoa and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Community Partnership.  The members of the Power Dam Jam Committee are fiddler Don LaBarge, Barb Heller, North Country Public Radio; Jill Chamberlain, Community Relations Associate, NYPA and Haggett.

In addition to musical performances, there will be workshops, presentations, arts and crafts booths and food vendors.   Themes for the workshops and presentations include “My Favorite Songs,” “A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Traditional Instruments,” Kids Jam Camp,” “Songwriters Showcase” and more.  The ever-popular Wurst Haus, long a favorite at the Folklife Festival, will be at the Power Dam Jam, along with other culinary treats.

The admission charge for the entire event, covering both Friday and Saturday is $5.00.  The Power Dam Jam will take place under tent cover making it ready to go, rain or shine.  

The Festival of North Country Folklife, precursor to the Power Dam Jam, began in the late 1970s in Canton as a St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce event.  Around 1980, the Festival moved to the Robert Moses State Park with NYPA joining as co-sponsor in the mid-1980s. 

About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. 

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