New York getting ready for Dutch week

New York is preparing it self for the Dutch-week, New York is counting on an additional Dutch for the Dutch celebration of NY400 in September. From September 8 through 13 there will be numerous festivities to celebrate VOC captain Henry Hudson who discovered Manhattan 400 years ago.

“We start with about 10 percent more Dutch visitors that week,” said George Fertitta director of the New York tourism organization NYC & Company Thursday in Amsterdam. Last year over 240,000 Dutch visited New York, much more than the previous years. They spend an average of 314 dollars per day and thus belonged to the ‘big spenders’. In total, there were 10 million foreign tourists visiting New York last year.

During the celebration Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima and many Dutch dignitaries will be present. U.S. president Barack Obama is probably going to be absent, said Fertitta.

The NY400 Week opens September 8 with a colorful fleet of Dutch ships in the port of New York. The next day Prince Willem-Alexander will make the official opening of the New Amsterdam Pavilion on the southern tip of Manhattan, a gift from the Netherlands to New York. During the opening, the Schaghen letter “the birth certificate from New York” will be on display. Dutch official Pieter Schaghen wrote this letter to his government. He had received word that Dutch settlers had bought Manhattan. This birth certificate – which is actually not a birth certificate but a letter from a representative of the States General, Pieter Schaghen – is the account of a ship sailing into the harbor of Amsterdam, returning from the faraway colony of New Netherland. Schaghen describes the content of the ship, and novelties such as the people’s upbeat spirit and the fact several women gave birth during their stay in New Netherland. But it is Schaghen’s mention of the purchase of Manhattan for ‘goods worth 60 guilders’, or 24 dollars for New Yorkers – that turned this otherwise ordinary letter into a famous historical document.

There will be many Dutch art exhibitions, New York editions of The Parade and Oerol and conferences and workshops.

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