In 1959 the 350th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's discovery of Lake Champlain attracted visitors to dozens of fairs, festivals, parades, commemorations and pageants featuring a Champlain theme. Promoters proclaimed there was "something to see and do practically every day for an entire year." The highlight was the Champlain Canoecade, reenacting Champlain's voyage of discovery in 24 authentic birchbark canoes. Culminating the Canoecade was a staging of Champlain's battle with the Iroquois at Fort Ticonderoga.
Other reenactments included the Rogers Rangers Pageant based on the Rogers Rangers raid of St. Francis, Québec in 1759, and the Fenian Raid depicting skirmishes around the Canadian border in 1870. There were winter carnivals, science fairs, art exhibitions, motorcycle rallies, horse shows, Scottish pageants, beauty contests and speedboat regattas. An official song, the "Hudson-Champlain March," was played at virtually every major event, And the festival was covered everywhere from the Saturday Evening Post and Redbook to all the big New York City newspapers.