PHOTOS: Brooklyn waterfront supporters celebrate maritime history at the Pirate Ball

Ship ahoy!

Hundreds of fans of Red Hook and the Brooklyn waterfront hopped aboard the historic Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge Number 79—the only surviving all-wooden example of Hudson River Railroad Barges of the Lighterage Age—at Pier 44 at 290 Conover Street on September 19 for the Pirate Ball, a kick-off event to celebrate the barge’s 100th anniversary.

The Barge 100 celebration will continue into 2014 and all proceeds, events and education go to support the Waterfront Museum Barge, which is housed inside the historic vessel and is dedicated to promoting “understanding of New York’s maritime history and its importance to the commercial, cultural and recreational life of the city and the world.”

To that end, the Pirate Ball gave revelers the chance to honor contemporary local business and community leaders for their commitment to furthering the Waterfront Museum’s mission.

Honorees were The O’Connell Organization—for their overall commitment to the Red Hook business and residential community, as well as for Greg O’Connell’s creation of the Barge’s homeport and provision of subsequent equipment and support over the ensuing two decades—and George and Alison Tocci for loving the cultural events hosted on the Barge that they decided to create more of them, in particular the popular Sunset Music Series.

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