GOWANUS — The Fourth Street Basin of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal will look a bit different tonight. An extravaganza is being put right on the water to bring awareness to the importance of early voting.
The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club and Wide Awakes Navy is hosting a “Boat For The Vote” event today, Friday, Oct. 23. The event will include Shequida Hall, a Juilliard-trained opera-singing drag queen and joined by Metropolitan Horn Authority, a French horn quartet.
The free event is from 6-7 tonight. A flotilla of boats and canoes filled with performers will be in the Fourth Street Basin, with Hall filling the crowds’ ears with opera music alongside French horn players in canoes, artists painting and banners whirling. All who attend are being asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Peter DelGrosso, the founder of Metropolitan Horn Authority, was invited to perform at tonight’s event after Brad Vogel from Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club heard him play.
“It was such an easy decision to play,” DelGrosso said. “A goal of the Metropolitan Horn Authority is to ‘spread french horn awareness.’ What better way than surrounded by potentially hundreds of people in a canal. The exposure for the group and also a chance to have the currently rare and safe paying gig made it a no brainer. Plus, we’re gonna be on boats. None of us have played like that before.”
The event is an effort to promote voting in the upcoming election. Early voting begins tomorrow for the first time in New York. New Jersey has already seen 2.1 million early voters at the polls – an 845% increase from the 2016 election.
Everyone is encouraged to bring their own “Get-Out-The-Vote” signs. You can attend onshore along the Gowanus Whole Foods esplanade, the Third Avenue Bridge and the parking lot at the foot of Second Ave.
“This is a way to encourage voting through an almost spectacle of an event,” DelGrosso said. “It will be a moment of respite, a brief hour of entertainment that draws them in away from their phones and the world. Thankfully within this ‘distraction’ is the message to go and vote, probably one of the most important ones to get out there at this time.”
As of right now, at least 47.1 million people have voted early nationwide, according to The Washington Post.