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Canal Boat Farewell Party Planned for Wednesday

Neighbors will gather to mourn the loss of The Georgetown, a replica mule-drawn canal boat.

The farewell party for "The Georgetown" replica canal boat, which will , is Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Lock 4 (between Thomas Jefferson and 31st Streets).

"Demonstrate your support for our historic, reproduction canal boat and the loss of this interpretive treasure by joining with us," reads an invitation sent to neighbors and supporters last week.

It is not clear if the boat will be taken away to be destroyed this week or at a later time. The National Park Service (NPS) did not respond to an email Patch sent Thursday inquiring about the timeline.

, the NPS, which operates the and its historic outreach programs, determined that repairs to the mule-drawn 1870's replica boat would be "cost prohibitive," according to John Noel, a regional spokesperson for the agency.

Arlette Cahen-Coppock, a local salon owner and French expat whose shop overlooks Lock 4 on the historic canal, is one of the main organizers of Thursday's event. She will offer black balloons in mourning for all those in attendance.

When The Georgetown was taken out of service, to encourage the Park Service to continue a mule-drawn boat program on the canal. They recently learned that in the meantime a will soon take over instead.

Noel told Patch in an earlier interview that NPS "hopes" to be able to have another canal boat in Georgetown "at some point," but that the agency does not currently have the money.

"Removing the boat, for me, is like removing the Eiffel tower from Paris" said Cahen-Coppock.

The invitation invites one and all to "Join the wake for the imminent departure and destruction of the canal boat The Georgetown."

Patch will be there Wednesday and will have photos the next morning in our daily news email. Don't miss them — sign-up for newsletter here!

EDITOR'S NOTE: We incorrectly reported that this event was taking place Thursday. The event is Wednesday, June 27 NOT Thursday June 28. We regret the error.

e keam June 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I like the canal boat but I don't like the idea of poor mules hauling it. I was so happy in the heat of the weekend that those poor animals were spared being prisoner to hauling the stupid boat for tourists. Animals are not for show.
P Leary June 26, 2012 at 02:43 PM
If the boat means so much to our community, why can't we all join together and raise the funds needed for a canal boat to remain in Georgetown?? Seems more productive than a wake..
Shaun Courtney (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Thanks P Leary. The wake is part real, part PR; they hope to raise funds to have a new boat made!

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