CLAYTON — A beloved Canadian children’s television star will be calling at Clayton late next month, via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Theodore TOO, a fully functional 65ft tugboat, is the physical manifestation of Theodore Tugboat, the star of the animated show that bears his name. The show aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1993 to 2001, and Theodore TOO was built in Nova Scotia in April 2000.
The tugboat was a US Coast Guard mascot in 2000, was an ambassador with the US National Safe Boating Council and once cruised the entire east coast to Florida and the Great Lakes to Chicago.
Since March 2021, Theodore TOO has been owned by Blair McKeil, CEO of Breakwater Investments in Ontario. The boat is now a mascot for the Canadian marine industry, sustainability and clean water initiatives.
The ship will visit Clayton on the evening of June 27 and will remain moored at Frink Park Pier until the morning of July 2. This will be the boat’s only visit to the United States this year. The public is invited to visit Théo at his moorings to meet the crew and take pictures.
Michael J. Folsom, a naval watch veteran on the St. Lawrence Seaway, was one of those involved in securing a visit from Theodore TOO to Clayton this year, as the village celebrates its 150th anniversary of incorporation.
Last year, the ship passed through the Seaway while visiting Canadian ports, and Mr. Folsom said that was when he decided he also wanted to see the ship visit. an American port.
“Unfortunately in our area we missed it last year as it crossed the Canadian Central Channel last year around Singer Castle so everyone from Alexandria Bay to Cape Vincent didn’t get the opportunity to see it,” he said.
The TV show, while popular in Canada, was syndicated on PBS in the United States, and kids who grew up along the St. Lawrence River with antenna TV may remember the original CBC shows. .
“People in our area know this show very well, it’s like Canadian Thomas the Tank Engine,” he said. “I think the tour is going to bring that to life and allow people to experience it first hand.”
Mr Folsom said a small parade was planned to welcome the tug to the area on June 27 near Rock Island to bring the boat to Clayton with a warm welcome. The public is also invited to this event.
The food and wine festival will take place the week before and the village will prepare for its July 4th celebration just days after Theo leaves the dock.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” he said. “In Clayton, mid-June to early July is a great time for the community. There are so many events happening around this time.