27th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race

  Last modified on November 28th, 2019

Sunday, September 1st marks the 27th year for the Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. Every year, tugboats from up and down the east coast make their way to our Hudson harbor for a little-known event that celebrates the small and mighty work they do with an event that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy!

The Working Harbor Committee (WHC) organizes the event with help from the NYCEDC and Circle Line Sightseeing, which provides a spectator boat that follows the tugs from start to finish on the Hudson. Here’s a link to get tickets.

The spectator boat boards from Pier 83 at West 43rd Street, but since 2017, the WHC has partnered with the Riverside Park Conservancy, Pier I Cafe, and NYC Parks to provide an option for Upper West Siders to join in on the fun from the comfort of the 70th Street pier!


The starting point for the race lines up with the upper pier, so it’s a prime spot to watch as the tugs parade themselves up and then begin their race, which happens quicker than you might suspect! Festivities at Pier I begin at about 11am, and will likely be done by about noon. At which point you may want to grab your group and bring them down to the party at Pier 83 where the fun and games continue.

Here’s a clip from the 2011 race:

Official 2019 Schedule:

  • 11:15am:  Parade of Tugs from Pier 84 (located at W. 44th St. & 12th Ave. ) to the starting line @ Pier i @ W. 70th St. in Riverside Park South
  • 11:30am: Race Starts (runs from Pier i to Pier 84)
  • 12pm: Tugboats nose-to-nose pushing contests & line-toss competition
  • 1:00pm: Kids activities on Pier 84
  • 2:00pm: Awards Ceremony
  • 3:00pm: Tugs depart
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