‘Boat for the Vote’ to bring performances from opera-singing drag queen and more to Gowanus Canal this weekend

Drag opera singer Shequida Hall will perform at the Fourth Street Basin of the Gowanus Canal on Oct. 23.
Shequida Hall

An opera-singing drag queen will sing from boats on the Gowanus Canal Friday evening encouraging Brooklynites to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Julliard-trained chanteuse Shequida Hall and the French horn quartet Metropolitan Horn Authority will serenade from the Fourth Street Basin of the noxious canal as part of “Boat for the Vote,” a maritime extravaganza on Oct. 23 aimed at encouraging folks to cast their ballot as early voting starts the following day on Oct. 24, according to a local canoe club captain.

“We’re looking to have a great evening of arts and encouragement to get people excited about voting,” said Brad Vogel of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, which is hosting the event alongside the artist-activist collective Wide Awakes Navy.

The latter group previously hosted nautical excursions for democracy with dozens of vessels in the Newtown Creek, the East River, and the New York Harbor.

The singer accepted the invitation to perform from the heavily-polluted channel, if that’s what gets people to exercise their democratic rights.

“The things I’ll do to get y’all to vote,” Hall said.

The French horn quartet Metropolitan Horn Authority will join the canal-based blowout. (Metropolitan Horn Authority)

A flotilla of boats and canoes will gather at the basin from 6-7 pm with banners and live art painting in the water and on land.

Organizers recommend attendees watch the free waterborne blowout and bring along their own signs from the shore at the Gowanus Whole Foods esplanade, the Third Avenue Bridge (not to be confused with the nearby Third Street Bridge), or the parking lot at the foot of Second Avenue near Sixth Street.

The organizers ask all audience members to wear masks and maintain social distance due to the pandemic, but they also encourage them to share videos and photos of the event with friends and family across these United States to build enthusiasm for the vote.

“Boat for the Vote” at the Fourth Street Basin [Third Avenue and Third Street in Gowanus, reserve tickets at www.gowanuscanal.org/boat-vote] Oct. 23, 6-7 pm. Free.

This story first appeared on our sister publication brooklynpaper.com.

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